In an effort to bring smallholder rural women farmers together across the country to collectively execute advocacy initiatives, AATZ in collaboration with other partners supported farmers to establish the National Small Holder Women Farmers Forum (SHWFF)
During the event representatives of the smallholder rural women farmers conducted election for the executive leaders in which Amina Said Senge from Singida was elected as the president of the forum while Fatma Abdulrahman Vice president,Anastacia Madoji(Secretary),Hadia Ally(Ass secretary),Magreth Moisary(Treasurer),Flora Matias(PRO),Pili Kuliwa(Executive official),Shem Ulenje(Ex official) and Fredina Said(Advisor)
The aim of establishing this forum is to help the smallholder rural women farmers to have an officially recognised national structure which they will use to advocate for their issues in areas of agricultural sector and land rights.
The main roles of the platform will be to engage with the government and relevant policy makers in demanding the rights of smallholder rural women farmers with focus on agriculture sector and the rights to land. The platform will also be responsible to creating awareness to other smallholder women farmers on the importance of working together from villages to national level. Similar platforms are expected to be mobilized from village to district level.
Dr Mary Nagu, Chaiperson of Parliamentary Committee for agriculture, livestock and water who officially inaugurated the forum commended AATZ efforts for making this to happen. “I am very happy to see this forum created. It will help to bring about changes in this sector taking into account that more than 80% of the population depend on agriculture”.
She also promised to work closely with the executive leadership. “During the budget I will call your representatives to tell us what is to be included in the budget priorities because agricultural sector is carrying many Tanzanians hence it should be allocated enough budget so that farmers receive inputs and other agricultural services.
She further insisted to the forum that despite their national level responsibilities they should remember that smallholder women farmers are found in rural areas. “You are representing smallholder women from village and District level. Hence we anticipate you to strengthen these platforms at lower levels”said Dr Nagu.
On the other hand the elected president of the forum Ms Amina appreciated all women farmers for trusting her in that position and promised to work very close with them to make sure that their demands are heard at all levels.
PFA project has been supporting smallholder women farmers to advocate ensuring agriculture sector receives sufficient resources and are spent appropriately. Apart from this, the project has been mobilising smallholder women farmers to create platforms at village, ward and district level to enable them to collectively undertake advocacy initiatives to the government to increase public financial resources allocation to accelerate agriculture growth for the benefits of smallholder farmers.