WOMEN AND ACCESS TO LAND IN THE CASHEW SECTOR: OPPORTUNITIES OF THE NEW LAND AND STATE CODE OF BENIN (3)
* Today, the cashew nut industry is one of the key springboards for improving incomes and creating jobs, particularly in rural areas. As a result, the Government of Benin's Action Program has selected cashew nuts as one of the priority sectors to be promoted within the framework of agricultural diversification. In addition, many Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs), including the US Department of Agriculture USDA through the BeninCajù Project implemented by TechnoServe Bénin in partnership with CRS, two US NGOs, are joining forces with the government to invest more in the development of this sector, which is emerging in Benin as an interesting alternative to cotton, along with pineapple, rice, oil palm, cassava and soybean.
However, in spite of this growth, and although they are heavily involved in the sector, women still face difficulties in the production chain, particularly with regard to their access to factors of production. In fact, they have responsibilities in harvesting, drying and related tasks, semi and harvesting of crops associated with the plantations (necessary food production). They participate in the activities, either independently on their own farm or on the family farm (husband's field), whether or not they are paid. Nevertheless, very few of them are owners of large farms.
Indeed, at the global level, it should be remembered that women produce more than 50% of the world's food; they represent only 13% of the owners of agricultural land. (FAO). At the national level (BENIN), the analysis of the agricultural situation shows that :
* Women are users of land that is sometimes of poor quality. Her conditions of access are determined by her marital status: unmarried girl, woman married alone or in a polygamous marriage (in this case, the rank of the wife counts), divorced or widowed woman, wife with or without children, etc., the number and sex of her children.
* 12% of women have access to land by inheritance
* 15% of women own plots of land
* 2% of the women own the land they work.
* 19% of rural women have access to land.
In view of this situation, the Government of BENIN has developed a legal mechanism for equal access to land for women and men. As a result, the BeninCajù project, through its "Gender" component, trains its beneficiaries by popularizing the opportunities offered by the new land and state code in Benin. The month of September was once again marked by information and sharing sessions, with the objectives of enabling them to better understand the law and its implementing decrees; then to equip gender focal points to seize the opportunities offered by the land and state code for access to land and land security.
During these sessions, various points of attention were discussed.
Read more details here.