Women affected by Gender Based Violence Investing in Climate-Smart Agriculture by Removing Financial Barriers through Village Savings and Loan Associations

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Women affected by Gender Based Violence Investing in Climate-Smart Agriculture by Removing Financial Barriers through Village Savings and Loan Associations

 

Introduction

Population that are less vulnerable to Gender Based Violence (GBV) have high economic activities such as climate-smart agriculture (CSA). GBV affects society directly or indirectly through loss of production in agriculture. Economic growth in a community is hindered when resources are used to respond to or mitigate GBV, and GBV decreases CSA productivity. HANDLE-Uganda in collaborations with Nwoya district, PDF-Africa, MAGMA, FCT, and Patira, piloted a study to build the knowledge base to fill data gaps about problems and solutions to GBV in Nwoya district, Uganda.

The outcomes from the pilot study identified women farmers who have access to land that can be used for CSA. However, the women have no access to funds to invest in CSA. To remove the financial barriers, we are using the data obtained from the pilot study to integrate GBV program with the Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs) in Nwoya district, Uganda. The information obtained from the integration of GBV and VSLAs will be used to develop strategies at policy and institutional level to improve adoption of CSA (conservation agriculture, crop diversification, income generation, and Integrated soil fertility management practices) by women affected by GBV.

Climate Smart Agriculture

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) aims to transform agricultural systems and support food security under changing climate through providing context specific, socially acceptable and flexible solutions (Lipper et al., 2014). CSA can improve productivity, incomes and food security for women affected by GBV from Nwoya district. The CSA practiced by these women are conservation agriculture, crop diversification, income generation, and Integrated soil fertility management practices (see the dashboard below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women Affected by GBV

Women in Nwoya district are affected by several types of GBV including sexual violence, physical assault, loss of farmland, and economic activities. The impact of GBV on these women are physical, emotional, and psychological. For example, some of these women have lost their land, others have been hospitalized, depressed, and have failed to tend to their children as well as take care of their field crops or animals (see the dashboard below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Village Saving and Loan Association

The VSLA is a group of individuals within a given community who come together with the main goal of collectively saving money. Upon formation, a VSLA group has a management structure headed by a chairperson, with secretary and treasurer as part of the executive. The executive is democratically elected where every member has equal opportunity to elect and be elected. The life cycle of a VSLA is normally 12 months, after which every member is given back all his savings plus all the interests accumulated on the loan.

Composition of VSLA varies accordingly. The main three groups are, women only, men only, and mixed (men and women). Members of a VSLA meet once a week. During the meeting, a member can deposit money, pay a loan, and discuss any related topics (see the dashboard on the right)..

The Current Policy of CSA in Uganda

  • Adaptation of CSA technologies in Uganda has been hindered by inadequate, poor, and lack of implementation of relevant policies (Ampaire et al, 2015).
  • Policies directly or indirectly address CSA include the National Environment Management Policy, Forestry Policy, and National Policy for the Conservation and Management of Wetland (Ampaire et al, 2015).

Integration of GBV with VSLA

  • Data collection: – We will start with one hundred GBV victims who have access to land for the CSA
  • Matching GBV victims with VSLAs group: – GBV victims will be matched with VSLAs groups.
  • Training GBV victims: – GBV victims will be trained in skills required for the integration to the CSA
  • Loans disbursement to the GBV victims: – Each GBV victim will receive a loan of $150 (550,000 Uganda shillings) with a total (100 x $150) of $15,000. The loan will be paid back within one year with no interest. The money paid back is given to new GBV victims to start a CSA. We expect a GBV victim to be self-sustainable by the time a loan is paid back.
  • Monitor and evaluation of the performance of the GBV victims: The climate-smart agriculture project will be evaluated twice a month to make sure that the money is not used for any other purpose and the project is going as planned.
  • Collect data (information) to develop strategies at policy and institutional level to improve adoption of CSA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop strategies at policy and institutional level to improve CSA

  • Climate Smart Agriculture. The Climate Smart Village (CSV) approach (Lipper et al. (2014) and Aggarwal et al., 2018)). Using the CSV approach, we will identify CSA options that work best, why, where and how. The data from CSV approach will provide necessary information for policy makers. The CSV approach focuses much on building and strengthening capacities of local communities, empowering them and their local organizations which eventually reduces reliance on external support (Aggarwal et al., 2018).
  • Local community-based partnerships approach (CBA). The main benefits of CBA will be the greater cohesion and strengthening of relations between the women and local institutions such as local government extension, NGOs, civil society. CSA policy developed by local institutions improves the success of CSA interventions.
  • In addition, several policy and institutional strategy focal areas that can improve success of the CSA interventions will be identified from the integrated GBV and VSLAs data.

References

  • Aggarwal et al., 2018. The climate-smart village approach: framework of an integrative strategy for scaling up adaptation options in agriculture. Ecol. Soc. 23, 14.
  • Ampaire et al, 2015. The role of policy in facilitating adoption of climate-smart agriculture in Uganda. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Copenhagen, Denmark. Available online at: www.ccafs.cgiar.org
  • Lipper et al., 2014. Climate-smart agriculture for food security. Nature Clim. Change 4, 1068–1072.

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