Beatrice Asekenye is a larger-than-life figure, resplendent in her brightly patterned, flowing dresses. When her farmer husband died a few years ago, his clan came en masse to seize the land she depends on to feed her six children. She fought for her rights, eventually getting the police on her side and successfully claiming her land.
These days, she’s active in her local women farmers’ group. “Women are now more confident in speaking with their husbands and having a say in what is sold and grown on their farms,” she says. ActionAid and our local partners have helped Beatrice become a farming entrepreneur, using her deshelling and grinding machines to turn her peanuts into peanut butter to sell and pay her children’s school fees. “I used to dress in rags and beg for charcoal to light the cooking fire," she says. “Now I’m proud that my community comes to me to ask to buy my vegetables.”
Supporting women smallholder farmers like Beatrice is a big part of ActionAid’s work because we believe women farmers have an equal right to land and a right to food. What’s more, supporting agricultural development is great value for money. Since women produce around 70% of all food consumed in the developing world, it makes sound economic sense to invest in them. Successful small farms deliver the economic freedom for women and men, and their children, to make choices about their education, their work, their communities and their future. Read more about why we support women farmers here.