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Press Releases 2013

American People Launch Innovations for Gender Equality Program

April 5, 2013

On Friday April 5, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Land O’Lakes International Development launched a $1.3 million, two-year program titled Innovations in Gender Equality (IGE) to Promote Household Food Security to enhance Tanzanian women’s participation in agriculture and improve food security. Representatives from USAID; the Tanzanian Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children; the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives; the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology; and the Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government attended the launch event held at the Kunduchi Beach Hotel.

In order to advance women’s empowerment, the IGE Program will work through the Coalition to Advance Women in Agriculture in Tanzania (CAWAT), a multi-stakeholder network of over 30 partner organizations and individual members formed through the IGE program. Through this coalition, IGE will build the leadership capacity of women working in the agriculture sector and promote policy changes that encourage gender equality in Tanzania. In partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-Lab, the program will identify, disseminate, and promote women-friendly agricultural technologies. To catalyze and scale up beneficial agricultural innovations, the IGE program, through CAWAT, will offer 21 small grants worth $5000 each to pilot and test selected innovations that will enable women to get the most out of their time spent on agricultural tasks. The program is expected to directly impact at least 8,500 Tanzanians, and reach up to 1 million households through a robust media campaign.

Women comprise 52% of the agricultural work force in Tanzania, and carry out much of the sector’s labor activities, including harvesting, transporting, and food processing. Yet, due to their reduced access to financial resources, inputs and land ownership, women have limited decision-making power when it comes to agriculture.

The Honorable January Makamba, Deputy Minister of Communication, Science & Technology, who was the guest of honor at the event in Dar es Salaam, noted, “The women-friendly technologies that shall be solicited, piloted and promoted; the women’s leadership capacity in agriculture that shall be built; and the policy changes that CAWAT shall advocate for will go a long way towards lifting the persistent obstacles and economic constraints that limit women’s optimal contribution to socio-economic development in Tanzania.”

During her remarks, USAID Mission Director Sharon L. Cromer said, “I am pleased to see that this two-year effort supports USAID’s overarching goals of integrating gender into agriculture, empowering women, and building gender equality in Tanzania.” She explained that USAID's programs in Tanzania, valued at $389 million USD, improve access to and the quality of health and education, strengthen governance, and contribute to economic growth in ways that improve food security and protect natural resources. “Strengthening women’s empowerment in agriculture and food security is vital to all of these efforts,” Cromer said.

Land O'Lakes International Development has been leading agricultural development and food security initiatives in Tanzania since 1999, through programs made possible by USAID and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to IGE, Land O'Lakes is in the final year of implementing the USDA-funded Tanzania Dairy Development Program, which is providing technical assistance to 17,000 farmers, and improving commercial milk production, processing, marketing and consumer awareness in the Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions.