Pathways places women’s empowerment at the heart of its work with the belief that by empowering women, agricultural productivity and profitability will increase and household resilience will be improved. To achieve this Pathways and its partners adopted stake holder engagement as one of the strategies to provide women access to productive land.
Leading up to the 2014 growing season, Pathways organized community level stakeholder meetings. In these meetings chiefs, landlords, men and boys across the two districts to solicited their support and lobbied for Pathways to help disperse fertile lands to women. Last year, limited farm land kept most people, and particularly women, from getting land for personal farming. But the situation was reversed this year when landlords and chiefs made commitments to deliver productive land to women willing to cultivate soy and groundnuts. Overjoyed, Kpirekpen from Suke shared, “this is the first time my husband has given me land to farm my own crops. Over the years, anytime I asked for land he would tell me that we didn’t have enough land for even him and none to spare for me, he said if I were such a great farmer I wouldn’t have left my father’s house to come and marry him. So I thank Pathways for changing the minds of our husbands.”
As a result of Pathways involvement, most women had new access to an average of one acre for personal farms. This intervention was strongly supported by Chief of the Lambussie traditional areas; he maintains that a man or land lord caught denying women land will be punished accordingly.