Women are the unsung heroes of Pakistan’s agriculture sector, constituting a significant portion of the agricultural labor force. They toil alongside men in fields, tending to crops and livestock, yet their contributions often go unnoticed and unrewarded.
This article sheds light on the vital role played by women in Pakistan’s agriculture sector and explores initiatives like Fatima Fertilizer’s ‘Sarsabz Tabeer’ program, which empowers these women by providing them with skills-based training in farm processing. This not only rewards their resilience but also contributes to food security by reducing food waste.
The Unrecognized Backbone of Pakistan’s Agriculture
According to the World Bank, in 2021, the female employment rate in agriculture in Pakistan reached an impressive 67.95%. These women are not limited to household chores but actively participate in activities such as cotton picking, livestock care, and crop harvesting. However, despite their dedication and hard work, they remain underappreciated and often trapped in menial jobs with limited economic rewards.
Traditional gender roles in Pakistan can overshadow the significance of women’s roles in agriculture, as their contributions are frequently viewed as expected family duties.
Moreover, they face various challenges, including limited access to resources such as land, credit, and agricultural services, which hinder their ability to increase productivity and income.
Empowering Women in Agriculture
Recognizing the need to empower women in agriculture and address gender inequality, initiatives have emerged to support these unsung heroes. Fatima Fertilizer’s ‘Sarsabz Tabeer’ program stands out as a remarkable effort to uplift female farmers and girls residing in Pakistan’s rural and underserved communities.
Fatima Fertilizer has always strived to be at the forefront of supporting farmers, especially female farmers.
This initiative surpasses the provision of immediate relief by delivering vocational training programs with a specific emphasis on farm processing. These comprehensive training programs are extended to numerous deserving women nationwide and are conducted by professional trainers who hold certifications from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), guaranteeing education delivery at international standards.
Through these programs, women are instructed in the art of converting fresh fruits and vegetables into marketable food products, such as jams and chutneys. This not only enhances the value of their agricultural produce but also creates fresh avenues for income generation. Watch the following video and explore the inspiring journey of these resilient women benefiting from this program.
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Moreover, the program focuses on improving women’s health, financial independence, and overall skill development. It equips them with the tools they need to break free from the cycle of poverty and dependence, allowing them to contribute more significantly to their households and communities. So far, six training sessions have been completed, and four more are expected soon. More than 300 females in the areas of Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Sahiwal, Hyderabad, and Rahim Yar Khan have so far directly benefited from this training.
Fatima Fertilizer values women’s contributions to Pakistan’s agriculture and seeks to promote innovation and inclusion in the industry. Expanding opportunities in education and training for women can positively impact the country’s economic and social development.
To empower women further, the government must provide robust support, equal rights, and opportunities in work and business. Encouraging their engagement in international markets will contribute to generating foreign exchange.
Fatima Fertilizer advocates for recognizing and supporting women in agriculture, fostering their active participation in economic ventures for personal and national growth.