Organic farmers discuss gender barriers and solutions

THIRTY organic farmers from across the Pacific met in Nadi this week to identify gender barriers within organic agriculture and find solutions to best address them.

In a statement, the Pacific Community (SPC) said the participants were from Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

Discussions focused on gender knowledge and tools via the newly launched POETCom (Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community) Gender and Value Chain Analysis Toolkit.

Assistant Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Minister Sashi Kiran discussed efforts by the Fiji Government to incorporate gender into all policies and programmes.

“The 2022-2027 Policy for Gender in Agriculture represented an important milestone for the adoption of a gender-responsive approach towards agriculture plans and programmes,” she said.

“The policy seeks to increase women’s access to productive resources, improve their participation in decision-making processes, promote their leadership in agriculture, and ensure effective mainstreaming of gender perspectives in all programmes through strengthened capacities, resources and commitment in the agriculture ministries.”

Erika Oord, the Acting Counsellor for the Human Development Team at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade acknowledged the work that the SPC, through POETCom, was doing in the region – empowering women farmers and strengthening their capacity at both policy and technical levels.

“The Australian Government is here to listen and learn how we can work with you to enhance support for women to contribute to Pacific food and nutritional security,” she stated.

Through this workshop, POETCom is strengthening its commitment to promoting the growth of the organic movement and equitable trade practices in the Pacific.

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