Agriculture in the African continent has increasingly come under severe strain due to increased population, changing access to resources and evolving markets, climate change and the global COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. But in the State of Eritrea, farmers, most of them women, have been able to produce adequate food for the local consumer markets, thanks to availability of dams in various villages and continuous rain this year.
Led by the Eritrean Women Agribusiness Association (EWAA), which is the national chapter of the COMESA Federation of National Associations of Women in Business, women entrepreneurs have been facilitated to form groups so that they work as partners by merging their capital, knowledge, time, and resources. This has led to the creation of sustainable business.
As a result of these mergers, the Eritrean Women Agribusiness Association mushroom group has been established and brings together women in food processing, oyster and mushroom and Aloe production as well as rabbit farming.
Chairperson of EWAA Mrs. Selamawit Mekonnen says the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 has led her organization to enhance women empowerment in agricultural activities to continue operating their businesses.
EWAA was established in 2003 and registered in 2016 to promote small scale agriculture amongst women. In November 2019, EWAA linked up with FEMCOM to build capacity and participate in the empowering of women farmers and entrepreneurs for economic development and in the hope for market linkages for future regional trade activities.
FEMCOM is a COMESA institution for the empowerment of women in business, with national chapters in the Member States. The FEMCOM Secretariat is based in Lilongwe, Malawi.