DEPUTY Minister for Agriculture, Dr Mary Mwanjelwa has said the establishment of a policy forum will help bring about positive results in participation of more women in agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors.
“I hope that through the policy forum the contribution of both women and men to the agricultural sector will be acknowledged and this will bring about equality in production activities and inclusivity in economic empowerment,” she stressed.
Dr Mwanjelwa made the remarks in Mbeya at the weekend during a meeting that brought together stakeholders from Ihemi and Mbarali clusters of the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) with a view to discussing, examining and adopting the policy forum’s directives.
She said traditionally the contribution of women in agriculture could be seen during early stages of clearing farms, cultivation and harvesting, but during the selling of crops, women were sidelined and, therefore, the policy forum would deal in solving such challenges and others in the agricultural sector.
“My call to Sagcot and its stakeholders is to organise a symposium or a seminar on the policy forum to create awareness and this will serve as an example because achievements registered will be reciprocated in other areas,” Dr Mwanjelwa said.
She added that a move by Sagcot in collaboration with Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) to conduct a study on the nature of women’s involvement in the agricultural activities was commendable.
“I commend Sagcot for the study. The idea came from me and I directed them to do it and surprisingly they have done it within a short period of time. My expectation is to see the policy forum’s directives been adhered to for positive results to be achieved,” she noted.
In another development, Dr Mwanjelwa accepted the request to act as a guardian to the forum and called on Sagcot and its stakeholders to give feedback on the implementation of the policy in every three months for its achievements to be easily measured.
“I have accepted this request because the matter is related to the ministry I am serving and women,” she said, adding that she would continue working with all Sagcot stakeholders to realise the achievement of objectives for the establishment of the forum.
Sagcot Policy Director Neema Lugangira said the aim of the meeting was to give feedback on a survey conducted in collaboration with TAWLA to look into challenges facing women engaging in agriculture.