PIC Bags - INGENAES Technology Profile
Sixty percent of Zambians live in fairly remote rural areas with very limited infrastructure in the way of roads, water or electricity. Poverty and stunting levels are very high across the country, and particularly in Eastern Province where the technology assessments were conducted. Agricultural productivity is particularly low in Zambia with only 50 percent of agricultural enterprises using fertilizer.
n Zambia, 78 percent of women are engaged in agriculture whereas 69 percent of men are engaged in agriculture (Sitko et al. 2011). Women are also responsible for domestic food production and household nutrition. However, women farmers in Zambia often do not own or control most productive resources, are disproportionately excluded from decision-making processes, and are less likely to benefit from of public services, such as extension services (Sitko et al. 2011). Few women have land in their own name (USAID n.d.). They are disadvantaged by poor access to information, communications, infrastructure and markets, and reduced access to training and education. Limited access to and control of resources and services frequently results in lower crop yields for women, and women’s income-generating abilities are also constrained by their primary task of producing agricultural products to meet household consumption needs (Sitko et al. 2011). Results from the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index showed that only 40 percent of women in households with both adult men and women in the Eastern Province Feed the Future Zone of Influence have achieved gender parity. Lack of control over use of income and limited access to assets were particularly strong contributors to this lack of parity (Feed the Future FEEDBACK 2013). Zambia would benefit from improvements in small-scale agricultural production and processing, and reaching women is a necessary approach given their active participation and potential.