Female rural farmers on the island are presently engaged in the production of onions and sorrel through a project known as the “Empowerment of Agricultural Women’s Movement.”
The project was established by the Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW) and is funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) with additional assistance from United Nations (UN) Women.
Immediate Past President of the Dominica National Council of Women (DNCW), Josephine Dublin-Prince told Dominica News Online that the project was introduced because of a downturn of the banana industry which women were very much involved in.
“They too were very much involved in family farming with bananas and they were packers, carriers, planters themselves,” she said. “We too as a normal women organization has a role to respond to the economic need of our members and women generally, and if that need is not fulfilled, other social issues may creep in.”
Prince said the DNCW decided to introduce sorrel to the project to add value to the market and to also have it available when it is not in season.
She described the project as one which is beneficial to farmers.
“I think it was beneficial because even from the comments from some of the women, some of them were able to pay their loans, some of them were able to contribute to their household income, some of them were able to have some needed cash that they could feed their family with,” she explained.
She noted further that basically there were two phases to the project.
“Initially the CFLI and then a two-year project from September 2012 and 2014 and that was the second phase supported by UN Women,” Dublin-Prince noted.
She stated the next phase will consist of women growing more onions with support from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Farmers from Bense, Marigot, Wesley and Portsmouth have already benefited from the project.