Women urged to venture into cashew farming

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A NALOLO resident has called on women in the area to venture into cashew farming.

Bridget Mongwa, a cashew farmer from Muoyo area in Nalolodistrict says there is a lot of benefits in cultivating cashew nuts hence women should not leave it to men alone.

Speaking when Cashew Infrastructure Development Project (CIDP) Gender Specialists Ngula Mubonda visited her cashew field, Ms. Mongwa aged 53 said women should move away from the notion of viewing farming as an activity for men only.

“Cashew farming needs a lot of patience but am motivated by what I will get once my nuts are ready for production,” she said.

Ms. Mongwa disclosed that she started planting cashew in 2017 with 200 seedlings and despite facing a bit of challenges she has not given up.

“I started planting 200 seedlings and out of these 50 didn’t grow well so I never gave up but replaced the ones that dried up,” she added.

Ms. Mongwa who has seven children said having big fields is also an investment for the children, because even if she gets divorced, her children will still carry on with farming.

Earlier, Nalolo District Acting Senior Agricultural Officer Nicholas Chindalo said it is difficult to convince women to grow cashew as they consider the land where they are married as not being their own.

Mr Chindalo said another challenge is that there is a lot of labour involved in land clearing and this discourages females from engaging in cashew farming.

“Some women usually tell us that they cannot start fields that they might leave once they are divorced and others that have land do not have the strength to clear it,” disclosed Mr Chindalo.

Meanwhile, CIDP Gender Specialist Ngula Mubonda who was accompanied by a representative from the Provincial Planning Unit (PPU) Wamunyima Nyambe urged the farmer to carry on bridging the gap between women and men in cashew farming.

Ms Mubonda who was delighted to visit a success cashew field owned by a female, urged the farmer to continue advising women so that many of them can start cultivating cashew.

“Please continue advising other women so that they also see the benefit that you have seen. This will help them move away from depending on men,” Ms Mubonda pointed out.

Nalolo District is one of the districts participating in the implementation of the Cashew Infrastructure Development Project and has a target of 5,250 farmers of which 50 percent of the farmers should be females.

– ZANIS

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