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Meet Marta, Anna & Teolith: 3 powerful women

© Fon Supitcha Tiyapipat - PUR Projet
© Fon Supitcha Tiyapipat – PUR Projet

« If all women smallholders receive equal access to productive resources, their farm yields will rise by 20 to 30 per cent; 100 to 150 million people will no longer be hungry. When agricultural plots produce well, there is less pressure to deforest for additional ground, avoiding emissions. »Drawdown on women smallholders

On average, women make up 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force and produce 60 to 80 per cent of food crops in poorer parts of the world. If given greater access to resources, land rights, technology and education, they could help reverse global warming.

Every day of the year PUR Projet strives to improve gender equality, within its team but also in the community we are working in. Within PUR Projet, women are active cocoa producers, rice farmers, entrepreneurs and pioneers. Those remarkable women are the like of Marta Otisa a dedicated mother living in Ethiopia, Teolith a cocoa producer in Peru, Mrs Anna a Polish farmer or Khun Ratree in Thailand.

TO WORK WITH CARE AND HONESTY, A PHILOSOPHY TO STRIVE – Teolith, Peru

Teolith, a 48-year-old woman, is a member of the APAHUI cooperative and FAM (Finca a la Media) project beneficiary. Hard working, she has enjoyed working on the farm along with her father from a young age.  Both cocoa producers, Teolith has had to overcome challenges and constraints for being a woman in this particular agriculture field. However, it hasn’t stopped her and pushed her to extend her expertise and passion for the land.

Today, she is taking part in the Finca a la Media land restoration project in Peru and proudly works on one of the best parcels of the project. With passion, she has prepared her land, installed cocoa and 7 co-crops (Plantain & other local fruits, Timber Trees) in 2017 and is now starting to harvest the first crops.

Motivated, the cocoa producer has proven that being a woman doesn’t matter in the field. Animated by her own motto « to work with care and honesty », her dedication has shown amazing results within her land but also around with her providing support to surrounding neighbours.

Mother of 3 daughters (Jesabel Cardenas 22 years old, Jennifer Cardenas 15 years old and Jacqueline Cardenas 9 years old), today her oldest follows into her mother steps, taking responsibility for the hectare of land.

« I am happy for the Finca A la Media project because they provide me with crops advice, training and technical assistance. There are regular monitoring of my crops by local technicians. Finally, they also help me with the commercialization of my crops on the market (Plantains ) bringing me and my family another income. »

IMPROVED COOKSTOVE TO EMPOWER WOMEN – Marta, Ethiopia

© Clement Chapillon - PUR Projet
© Clement Chapillon – PUR Projet

“I got one of the improved cookstoves back in July 2018. Before, I used to have serious eye problems and infections due to the smoke produced by the three-stone fire. I am very happy about it! It has resolved any of the eyes issues I previously had and I was able to discover a lot more benefits to it. Indeed, I, now, can save a lot of wood, cook faster… More steady, it is safer for my 8 children as it cannot fall over. I also noticed that the smoke that goes out of the cookstove chimney keeps away flies that are harmful to my beehives.”

Based in Sidama, PUR Projet’s cookstoves project relies on lead women previously trained by project technicians on cookstove construction. Materials are sourced from the area (soil, and sawdust mostly) by farmers and the lead women are paid to build improved cookstoves in farmers’ house.

The improved cookstoves have been thought and designed in to reduce fuelwood consumption and pressure on forests, as well as reducing the time for women spent on cooking and collecting wood. Subsequently, their use improves air quality in houses.

Why focusing this action on local women? Food is mainly prepared by women using a traditional three-stone fire located inside the house. This cooking system induces the fast combustion of firewood and consequently a high firewood consumption per household, thus generating strong pressure on remaining forests. In addition, this method is time-demanding for cooking as well as wood collection.

© Clement Chapillon – PUR Projet

PLANTING THE FRUITS OF THE FUTURE – Mrs. Anna, Poland

Anna Posnik-Jurczak is a young woman farmer. Hard working, she and her mom have been taking care of a 5,4 ha farm in Wojciechowka, Poland.

In recent years, Mrs Ann’s objectives were to become an organic and model farm with a rich agrobiodiversity.

Close to her roots (the village where she lives is named after her grandfather), she has old Polish breeds like green-legged hens, the Polish Red cattle and Polish Small horses. She grows vegetables starting from early spring (in a greenhouse) and sells her products in the frame of a CSA (Community Supporting Agriculture) in Warsaw.

Mrs Anna took part in one of the workshops organized by Agrinatura.  A Polish NGO founded in 2007, Agrinatura aims to reintroduce biodiversity in agricultural systems.  The foundation has undertaken many educational events, at local, national and international levels. Their events mainly target farmers, young people and women, to raise their awareness of sustainable agriculture and help them develop sustainable practices.

Today, Anna wishes to produce juice from old fruit varieties and went on to analyse the conditions for setting up a small juice production.

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