Women fight to reclaim and use traditional seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-20_women_zim.JPG(Harare, October 20, 2015) Women from the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) continuously fight to reclaim and use traditional seeds, and break dependence on commercial seeds. As the world celebrated the World Food Day on the 16th, the international peasant movement, La Via Campesina, on this day, called on its members and allies, and civil society organizations to mobilize and organize actions for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs). In response, ZIMSOFF organized its member farmers on the 16th and 17th October, to participate in a dialogue and festival respectively where the focus was on traditional food and seeds. They shared the plight faced by many small farmers, particularly women and youth under the current climate and hunger crises.

Over 12 smallholder farmers (from four ZIMSOFF clusters: northern, eastern, western and central) participated in the festival. These farmers, of which 8 were women, were selected from the best farmers, the winners, at ZIMSOFF cluster food and seed fairs, to represent their clusters at the national level. The cluster food and seed fairs were held in August and September this year. They brought their own seeds and processed farm produce to showcase at the national festival. They brought also seeds and processed farm produce randomly selected from other cluster members.

Tendai Chidhakwa, a smallholder farmer from the eastern cluster of ZIMSOFF participated at the just ended traditional and organic food and seed festival held a day after the World Food Day. According to Tendai Chidhakwa "traditional and farmer saved seeds are not bought but exchanged among the farmers and thus are important in building a stronger food sovereignty. Farmers without money can have seeds to grow and feed their families". With regards to nutrition she said “African traditional seeds are nutritious and good for our bodies; they improve our health.”

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Palestine : Open Day for Women's Cooperatives in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

UAWCwomencooperativesc.jpg(Hebron, august 2015) - the Union of Agricultural Work Committees organized an open day to show the products of 35 women cooperative in the West Bank and Gaza Strip within “the transition from relief to sustainable livelihood" project - to enhance food security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency in partnership with CARE International Foundation.

Assistant Undersecretary for Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Ali Gayatha, UAWC’s Acting Director Fuad Abu Seif, the Deputy Governor of Hebron Governorate Marwan Sultan, and CARE International Foundation’s Director in the West Bank and Gaza Strip Rene Seleia launched the open day activities.

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UAWC distributes food processing equipment to women cooperatives

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-07-30_AUWC.jpg(Palestine, Ramallah, July 2015)- The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) distributed bread, sweets and pastry equipment to seven women's cooperatives in the Governorates of Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, with the participation of agricultural committees and representatives of local communities, the Agriculture Department of Bethlehem and the Agriculture Department Nablus. The activity was within the project of "transition from relief to sustainable livelihood- to enhance food security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," funded by the Canadian international Development Agency in partnership with CARE International Foundation.

The project director Eng. Doaa' Zayed stressed that the quality and quantity of the supplied equipment for the targeted cooperatives will bring a tangible change to the level of women's income in those cooperatives since it will reduce the time and effort of production, hence allow them to increase their production.

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UAWC Celebrates International Women's Day

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-UAWC_Women_day_celebration.jpeg(Palestine, March 8, 2015) The Union of Agricultural Work Committees celebrated the International Women's Day with the Palestinian women through organizing a photo gallery and workshop titled "Women Give without Boundaries."

In his speech the Chairperson of UAWC's board of directors Ali Hasouneh emphasized on the achievements of women cooperatives and their important role in strengthening the Palestinian products. Hasouneh added that the photo gallery reflects the successes of Palestinian women especially in area "c" where the occupation aims at their displacement but they refuse and resist.

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