Empowering Woman Farmers with Agricultural Busines..
Empowering Woman Farmers with Agricultural Business Management Training
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
Farming is the principal economic activity in most rural areas of the EU. About half of the population of the EU lives in rural areas. Without farming there would be little to keep many communities alive and hold them together. If farming were to disappear, in many areas there would be a problem of land abandonment. Therefore, EU’s Common Agricultural Policy supports farmers in many aspects.
Many farmers are over the age of 55 and will retire from active farming at some point in the future or women who are less educated and do not have entrepreneurship competences. Especially women represent a substantial share of the total agricultural labour force and their contributions are mostly invisible. They are not seen “productive” since they are generally expected to work without payment. This invisibility at the intersection of markets, state and society has suppressed the whole potential of woman farmers worldwide. Helping woman farmers get started is a policy ‘must’ if Europe’s rural areas are successfully to meet the many challenges that face them.
Woman farmers generally do not have formal vocational education, they are less educated and they learn farming by informal learning while working in their farms or other farms. Therefore, they need vocational training and guidance in their work places. Unfortunately, there is no formal or non-formal vocational training service for them. Besides, woman farmers do not have access to many of the agricultural resources including credits, inputs, and productive assets as their male counterparts do. These restrict their own progress in professional skills and societal status.
Moreover, women in agricultural sector are not equal in terms of economic return and employment. Women are less literate than men and they are also paid less in agricultural jobs compared to men. Because of that, they need training in this field in order not to survive but to thrive in this sector. To actualize this, woman farmers, mostly small and new farmers, should get vocational training and support.
According to EU 2020 Strategy, some of the EU goals are to modernise labour markets and empower people by developing their of skills throughout the lifecycle with a view to increase labour participation and better match labour supply and demand and to improve the business environment, notably for SMEs, and to support the development of a strong and sustainable industrial base able to compete globally. "Empowering Woman Farmers with Farm Management Training (EMWOFA)" Project will promote these goals. It aims to provide a comprehensive training program for extension educators who will have direct contact with women farmers. These extension educators will help women farmers to develop technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills through specialized training; to realize their full-potential to operate and sustain profitable farms as small businesses; to gain self confidence as a businesswomen. These extension educators will also support network among woman farmers and help them to learn to understand and manage their farm business.
EMWOFA partnership is made up of 3 universities, one public body, one vocational school, one chamber of agriculture and one NGO from 5 countries. EMWOFA project should be carried out transnationally since each partner has a specific expertise in a field. We have 2 universities, one research institution and one vocational school that have academic research and field experience in agricultural economics and vocational education. They will prepare the content of the trainings and train extension educators and women. A public body responsible for agriculture and a chamber of agriculture will be responsible for the dissemination of the project. One NGO who is expert in video production and web portal will be responsible for the production of E-Learning Videos and Web portal of the project which will be used for blended learning.
EMWOFA Projects will provide “Trainings of Extension Educators” in order to train extension educators who will help woman farmers to improve their business skills and farms. This will have a multiplier effect and we will reach more woman farmers in the EU with these trained extension educators in Europe. EMWOFA Projects will also use these trained extension educators to provide local trainings for woman farmers in order to improve their business skills and farms and develop technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills.
EMWOFA E-Learning Videos will be an important intellectual output of this project. Woman farmers who are less literate and cannot have an opportunity to attend the trainings will watch these E-Learning Videos and will be trained.
EMWOFA Web portal will give online support to extension educators and woman farmers who benefited from face-to-face trainings or E-Learning Videos via forums. With these online support and forums, we will carry our face-to-face trainings to virtual platform.
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