This program aims to provide improved food and economic security for 27,270 rural women, men and children in select countries who are among the poorest and most vulnerable people in their societies. It is designed to: (a) increase food security through raising agricultural productivity; (b) support beneficiaries in the establishment and management of profitable income-generating activities; (c) enhance the ability of beneficiaries to protect the natural resource base upon which their agricultural livelihoods depend; (d) provide beneficiaries with the ability, through training and capacity building, to engage local authorities and to advocate for services provided by their governments; and (e) establish strategic, long-term partnerships with local government, research institutions and private sector companies to access and exchange technical expertise. Local Partners include: Cambodia – Partnership for the Development of Kampuchea (PADEK) Ghana – Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP) Kenya – WEM Integrated Health Services (WEMIHS) Mozambique – Kubatsirana and Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) Zimbabwe – Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources (SAFIRE)
Results achieved as of March 2013 include: (1) An increased number of households have consulted extension agents for advice: 61% of households (headed by men) and 60% of households (headed by women), against a baseline of 0%. Yield of main crop production has increased from 310 kg per hectare to 510 kg for women-headed households. Survival rates for livestock increased from 54% to 75% for households headed by men, and from 37% to 77% for households headed by women. (2) Farmer’s groups were formed and supported to implement agricultural and livestock activities, as well as to develop income generating activities. These farmers groups helped pool resources and increase access to production technologies. As a result, monthly income increased from $16.54 per month to $62.83 per month for men-headed households and from $10.72 per month to $31.30 per month for women-headed households; and 44% of the households reported improved access to diversified financial assets from a baseline of 0%. (3) The program supported partner organizations in producing gender action plans (particularly in Cambodia) which resulted in four gender strategies. Partners in all participating countries were supported in developing a field data collection, storage and analysis system and have begun collecting information in a systematized way. In Kenya, Cambodia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, partners have developed a data collection framework as well as a knowledge sharing strategy to share results from the program to internal and external stakeholders. (4) Over 229 presentations on international development issues were held in 125 Canadian schools (with 8,823 students and 373 teachers participating), and over 5,500 people were reached through other local events. These results are contributing to increased and sustainable agriculture and livestock production, as well as to increased and diversified financial services for rural women and men in the targeted countries. These also helped improve gender-sensitive food and economic security programming of partner organizations, and increase knowledge of, and engagement in, international development issues among Canadians.