UN Women and Standard Bank have partnered on a Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Flagship Program Initiative in Nigeria and three other African countries: Malawi, South Africa and Uganda to equip female farmers with the skills and resources needed to grow their businesses, and succeed over the long term.
The project titled “Contributing to the Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa through Climate Smart Agriculture” aims to close the gender gap in the Agricultural sector by strengthening women’s agricultural productivity and access to markets in selected value chains in these four countries while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which has been a major course of global warming and climate change.
According to Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive of Africa Regions at Standard Bank Group, “The CSA project supports Standard Bank’s drive to create a gender-equal Africa and aligns with our purpose of driving the continent’s growth. We believe it will meaningfully contribute to the upliftment of communities and the achievement of sustainable economic growth across Africa.”
The project aims to empower at least 50,000 women farmers, over three years, and Standard Bank has provided funding worth US$3 million towards it, as well as ongoing support through financial literacy and other programs.
In Nigeria, the project is currently supporting 2,300 women beneficiary Agri-business groups and cooperatives to increase the productivity and profitability of their operations within the Rice and Shea-nut value chains.
The Climate Smart Agriculture Flagship Program Initiative is closely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which include the pursuit of Gender Equality and Sustainable Economic Growth.
Affirming the commitment of UN Women to the program and its expansion, Ms. Roberta Clarke, Senior Advisor, UN Women East and Southern Africa aptly noted that “Women’s economic empowerment is central to attaining gender equality and it is a prerequisite for inclusive and sustainable development.”