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Les prestations sociales dans l’agriculture ou Care farming: Une approche innovatrice pour promouvoir l’autonomisation économique des femmes, l’emploi rural décent et l’inclusion sociale. Savoir ce qui marche dans les pays en développement?

Le Care farming (également appelée agriculture sociale, pour en savoir plus lire ici) est une pratique agricole qui utilise les ressources agricoles pour fournir des prestations sociales ou éducationnelles aux groupes vulnérables de la population. Elle est largement pratiquée en Europe et nous cherchons maintenant des exemples d'agriculture sociale dans les pays en développement.

Des exemples concrets d'agriculture sociale sont:

  • la fourniture de services de prise en charge des enfants et des personnes âgées à la ferme
  • l'intégration de groupes désavantagés aux activités productives afin de promouvoir leur réhabilitation, leur inclusion sociale et leur employabilité.

Les expériences d'agriculture sociale menées dans les pays européens ont démontré que la participation économique facilite l'intégration sociale des personnes vulnérables (par exemple, les personnes présentant des handicaps intellectuels ou physiques, les anciens combattants, les personnes condamnées, etc.) et leur permet de se sentir de nouveau utiles et de renforcer leur estime personnelle.

D'autres expériences centrées sur la prestation de services de prise en charge et d'éducation sont de bons modèles (par exemple, les fermes-jardins d'enfants en Italie ou ‘agriasilo’) pour fournir des services sociaux efficaces et novateurs dans des zones rurales et éloignées où les services publics de prise en charge sont souvent non existants ou inadéquats, inaccessibles et de mauvaise qualité.

L’objet de cette discussion

Il existe de nombreux exemples de l'utilisation de l'agriculture sociale dans les pays développés; notre objectif est de chercher des exemples dans des pays en développement, en particulier dans les zones rurales. Les études de cas seront analysées pour élaborer un cadre destiné à promouvoir les pratiques d'agriculture sociale dans les pays en développement.

Nous espérons que cette discussion suscite beaucoup d'intérêt sur les pratiques d'agriculture sociale, leur fonctionnement et les mesures à prendre pour en assurer le succès, et qu'elle permette de voir comment ce concept peut être adapté aux pays moins développés. Nous aimerions savoir comment l'agriculture sociale peut contribuer à combler les lacunes de la prestation de services sociaux et créer des opportunités d'emploi rural, en particulier pour les femmes. Veuillez inclure la plus grande quantité possible de détails dans votre contribution, par exemple :

  • des détails sur les prestataires de services (type d'organisation, activités agricoles, type de services offerts, motif de la prestation de ces services);
  • usagers (qui sont les usagers, quel est le principal avantage qu'ils retirent de ces services) :
  • méthodes de financement ou modèle d'entreprise;
  • principaux défis;
  • quels sont les autres acteurs impliqués (secteur de la santé publique, secteur privé, organisations professionnelles, etc.);
  • cadres réglementaires ou politiques afférents;
  • toute autre information pertinente.

Les exemples que vous nous communiquerez seront intégrés à un recueil de pratiques d'agriculture sociale. À travers ces exemples, nous souhaitons explorer le potentiel de l'agriculture sociale en termes de prestations de services de soins et d’éducation dans les zones rurales pauvres dans le but de renforcer l'autonomisation économique des femmes rurales, la création d'emplois ruraux décents et l'inclusion sociale. Nous élaborerons également un cadre de mise en oeuvre à l'échelle des pays pour aider ceux-ci à alléger le fardeau du travail non rémunéré de soins des femmes rurales en encourageant les pratiques d'agriculture sociale.

Nous espérons que cette discussion sera riche et intéressante.

Nous vous remercions d'avance de votre contribution.

Hajnalka Petrics
Chargée du programme genre et développement
Division de la protection sociale
Thème transversal sur le genre
FAO

Cette discussion est fermée. Contactez fsn-moderator@fao.org pour tous renseignements.

Simone Staiger Colombia
12.05.2014
Simone

Granja Tarapacá: Agricultura social, terapia curativa y social para personas con capacidades especiales, Cali, Colombia

Participo en este foro como madre de familia de dos hijos especiales, co-fundadora de la iniciativa Granja Tarapacá la cual presento a continuación.

Qué es Tarapacá?

Nuestro proyecto de agricultura social en Cali, Colombia es la propuesta de un centro terapéutico para personas con facultades especiales en un ambiente de casa-granja con actividades de agricultura biodinámica.

Desde el 7 de septiembre del 2009 hemos empezado esta experiencia, arrancando con actividades educativas y curativas para personas con facultades especiales. 

Cómo funciona Tarapacá?

Nuestro proyecto es todavía pequeño: Tenemos 18 estudiantes de 8 a 65 años con diversos impedimentos. Trabajamos de 8 am a 3 pm en varias formaciones grupales, en actividades escolares, terapéuticas, todos giran de alguna forma alrededor de la agricultura. Los cultivos por el momento son destinados para el autoconsumo de la granja. Nuestro equipo está compuesto de dos maestras formadas en educación especial, un maestro agrónomo, una terapeuta trabajando con arte, y una ayuda en la cocina. Siempre contamos con la presencia de dos practicantes de Alemania que turnan cada año. Tenemos muchas visitas de estudiantes y jóvenes viajeros que participan durante un tiempo en las actividades. Disfrutamos del apoyo de la comunidad antroposófica internacional que nos provee capacitación en educación especial con varios expertos visitándonos por año.

Todavía no hemos montado el proyecto de vivienda para que los integrantes mayores se puedan vivir en comunidad. Contamos con el apoyo del colegio Luis Horacio Gómez en la parte administrativa.

La financiación se hace exclusivamente por parte de los padres, con algunas donaciones que llegan de personas o instituciones interesadas, no tenemos ayuda estatal que no existe en Colombia ya que tiene un sistema público y privado separado. Estamos en el proceso de formalizar la Granja para asegurar que los alumnos de edad escolar estén parte de un proceso escolar, mientras que para los mayores es necesario establecer otra forma administrativa. Nuestro compromiso con la pedagogía Waldorf, la antroposofía y la agricultura biodinámica son la base fundamental de nuestra incitativa.

Encontramos instituciones hermanos en los Camphill donde muchos estudiantes, maestros y jóvenes de Cali han hecho prácticas.

Algunos de nuestros retos

-          Colombia es un país que no tiene estructuras de apoyo y no tiene una cultura de inclusión. No hay profesionales bien capacitados, y en eso el colegio Waldorf hace un gran esfuerzo que ha dado sus frutos.

-          Los padres de hijos con necesidades especiales tienen dificultades en aceptar sus hijos y en acudir a soluciones como Tarapacá. La agricultura no es considerada como una ocupación de valor, sobre todo por parte de los padres que tienen los recursos económicos para ser parte de nuestro proyecto.

-          Queremos crecer pero no queremos abandonar nuestros principios fundamentales. Por ejemplo, para hacer un convenio con alguna institución como el bienestar familiar deberíamos cumplir con una serie de condiciones que no nos dejarían desarrollar nuestras actividades  en las condiciones que nos exigimos.

El futuro de Tarapacá

Estamos trabajando para fortalecer el proyecto y permitir su sano crecimiento. Necesitamos arrancar pronto con el proyecto de vivienda comunitaria. Soñamos con un terreno más amplio para desarrollar las actividades de la granja en su dimensión terapéutico-social y al mismo tiempo permitir su desarrollo económico.

Como madre de tres hijos, dos siendo integrantes del proyecto, puedo decir que la posibilidad de participar en la creación de la granja ha sido un privilegio. Hubiéramos podido regresar a Alemania, mi país natal y aprovechar de ayuda estatal; optamos por crear una solución a la medida que nos provee la mejor terapia curativa para nuestros hijos, mucha tranquilidad y orgullo.

La granja en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/128493893837048/

Contacto: Simone Staiger-Rivas (s.staiger@cgiar.org

Dr. Roy Vargas Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, Costa Rica
10.05.2014
Roy

Desde el año de 1971 el  Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social (IMAS),  como   Institución del estado costarricense, está  encargado de desarrollar acciones de lucha contra la pobreza, y especialmente con las mujeres jefas de  hogar.  A través de la historia, el IMAS ha desarrollado diferentes procesos y metodologías de transferencias condicionadas. Producto de dicha evolución, desde el año 2011 es creado el Programa Manos a la Obra, que consiste en una transferencia económica  (de hasta $200 mensuales) condicionada o asociada   a la participación  en proyectos de  bien social (reciclaje, reforestación, cuido de niños, limpieza de playas, educación ambiental, creación de viveros forestales de especies en peligro de extinción,  rescate de especies vegestales comestibles afectadas por la deforestación, producción de alimentos por medio de huertas comunales) etc. En el año 2011 beneficio a 500  familias, 2012 cerca de 6000 familias y para el 2013 se atendieron cerca  de 11.000 participantes. El programa está en franco crecimiento beneficiando principalmente mujeres jefas de hogar.

Se han desarrollado proyectos donde las familias en condición de pobreza participan en la producción de alimentos (huertas),  cuyos productos son posteriormente trasladados a escuelas, colegios, acilos de ancianos, etc.  La participacion en estos procesos ha tenido efectos positivos en los participantes, tales como : a)Traslado de conocimientos en materia de producción de alimentos; b)Incremento en los sentimientos de autoestima personal dado que el subsidio de estado es percibido como un derecho y no una dadiva o caridad del estado; c)Creación de redes sociales de apoyo en las participantes, al crearse sentimientos  de solidaridad, grupo y pertenencia; d) Intercambio de experiencias y estrategias de sobrevivencia social.

Actualmente  está siendo construida una estrategia para que la producciópn agrícola en las huertas pueda ser adquirida por escuelas, colegios e instituciones de estado, de forma que se incremente la producción de alimentos de la mano de opciones de emprendedurismo y movilizacion social para las familias participantes.

 

Mr. Muhammad Ariful Haque Kamfisht Universe Engineering, Bangladesh
07.05.2014
Muhammad

I think to enhance social farming/ care farming, there should be compulsory free of cost or very low cost bank account against each social farmer. This account should be used for maintaining all sorts of expenditure relevant to care farming. From local to international donation -everything might be operating through this account. In remote areas where branches of any bank are unavailable, there might be engaged agent of Bank.  There also should be Green environmental Loan disbursement target for each branch of each bank. Agent of Banks also needed to be involved in here. Its transparency & regular monitoring could be possible using latest low cost IT products & services.

 

Veranda gardening, Rooftop gardening, indoor aquaculture etc should be considered as urban social farming for bank loan sanctioning. I think this will enhance economy specially women economy.

Social farming should focus more on food & nutrition production rather than armature farming because water, time, money etc are involved in here. As for social farming, 100% pure is not necessary, water reuse policy could be applied there. Domestic Bio fertilizer, warm fertilizer etc could be used there. Using renewable energy for care farming should be influenced.  

 

Agri-telemedicine could be a significant tool for social farming in remote areas. To operate Agri-telemedicine agriculturist needed to be trained up in local language. Online based diplomas in home economics, care farming, or any relevant short courses are necessary in this regard.

Thank you

 

 

Muhammad Ariful Haque

CEO, Kamfisht Universe Engineering

Partner, Global Water Partnership

Partner, Global Soil Partnership of FAO, UN

Adopter Member, Bluetooth Special Interest Group

Member, International Desalination Association

Member, International Phonetic Association

Cell: +88 01710822509, +88 01819462549

06.05.2014
Sabrina

Le care farming reste encore assez peu développé et en marge. Largement pratiqué en Europe, non pas assez je trouve. Ce qui est bien regrétable car le concept est vraiment intéressant. Le principe de l'agriculture sociale que j'ai découvert il y a peu permet également un accès au logement facilité, une meilleure qualité de vie. En valorisant l'agriculture, d'autres choses sont également mis en valeur tel que la santé, l'habitat

Sabrina L. lesclesdumidi.com

 

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja The Postharvest Education Foundation, États-Unis d'Amérique
06.05.2014
Lisa

Greetings and good wishes with this excellent topic.

For social farming (as for any farming project) it is very important to consider how the famers will link to markets.
Too often, 99% of the work is focused on growing, while little planning is put into what happens after harvest, leading to food losses and falling market prices (if a lot of farmers try to sell the same food at the same time).
 
Many studies on "linking farmers to markets" have been conducted, but the key for social farming is to promote those practices most suitable and economically feasible for smallholders, specifically those that give women multiple options (for direct marketing or storage or home use) in order to maximize benefits and help reduce risks.
 
Two projects that I have worked on during the past 10 years (EL SHAMS in Upper Egypt, and Hort CRSP in East Africa) can provide some useful lessons:

• Improved access to post-harvest handling centers (e.g. pre-cooling and cold stores, packinghouses or food processing facilities) improves the bargaining position of small farmer groups and affiliated farmers. Access to post-harvest centers where growers can sort, grade and pack their fresh produce, pre-cool it and store it in cold stores until such time as price disputes are resolved or alternate buyers identified, thereby limiting their losses after harvest if and when marketing disputes arise.
 
• Investment in supporting structures such as packinghouses and the mechanisms to support them should start early so that the project can support them from set-up to full implementation and. Such undertakings require at least a three year learning curve – one to set up and learn; one to operate and learn from mistakes, and the third year for operators to take full responsibility from the project.

• Infrastructure development should start early during the life of the project. The necessary steps (site identification, facility design, feasibility studies, approvals, environmental assessments, construction, equipment procurements, etc) can take a very long time.

• Risk can be reduced if farmers grow crops that can be dried, stored and sold when prices return to medium or high levels – e.g. dry beans, medicinal and aromatic plants (herbs and spices).

• Growers associations play an important role in facilitating training courses and introduction of new crops, as well as in managing contracts and agreements of sales beyond the capacity of individual farmers.

• Farmer to farmer learning (e.g. onion production and field curing was noted as an example of where growers from one area shared experiences with farmers in another area in Egypt) was well received… such a model could be scaled out.

• The timeliness of user-demanded training is important.  Hands-on training worked best (ex: demonstrations of improved harvesting practices during the actual harvest time).

• Growers associations need longer term technical assistance for improved organizational development, to establish and maintain good business practices, manage links with buyers, and to learn to properly manage and maintain their postharvest facilities.  Farmers need access to training on an on-going basis, since as they learn new skills, needs will continue to change.  In East Africa, for example, training for women's groups during the first year focused on solar drying and jam/juice making methods, but in the second year they were requested training in direct marketing strategies.

• New services developed under the EL SHAMS project created new job opportunities for the residents of Upper Egypt villages. Examples include skilled harvesting labor, grading, packing, truck driving, and working in collection/drying centers. New skills under the Hort CRSP East Africa Postharvest Extension project created opportunities for small business development for women (as individuals, widow's groups, church-based groups, etc) to market the many products they made from a variety of perishable food crops. 
 

Dr. Lisa Kitinoja
The Postharvest Education Foundation
PO Box 38, La Pine, Oregon 97739 USA

www.postharvest.org

Hajnalka Petrics FAO ESP, Italy
05.05.2014
Hajnalka

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Many thanks to you all who have submitted a contribution to this forum discussion until now...

We encourage you to come back and provide further reflections or also comments to other people’s contribution. I was delighted to see how George Kent actually summarized previous contributions and made some further thinking on them. Thank you George!

We also hope that many others will still contribute as the forum will be open until 16 May 2014.

Peter Steele’s contribution is highly appreciated. I personally feel delighted that he provided his comments as he with other colleagues from FAO were the pioneers of one of the themes that is closely related to Care/Social Farming, namely the one which concentrates on how to involve people with disabilities in Agriculture. I am grateful for his insights and the Guidelines he shared will be very useful for the development of the framework on Care/Social Farming.

Among others, Peter refers to the government’s responsibilities in providing care services for the disabled and to the fact that often people with disabilities rely only on public authorities to provide the much needed services. This is a very important aspect, and raises further thoughts about the roles of the different sectors, including the public, private, public-private and the community.

He also mentions that nonetheless of the many well-intended initiatives, laws and regulations to provide people with disabilities the same life opportunities, they continue to live marginalized. Among the main reasons is that these initiatives often focuses only on health and social development, but do not manage to have a real empowering effect, that is, an effect that makes people with disabilities feel useful and appreciated. Creating opportunities for them to engage in meaningful employment through care farming can be a means to achieve this effect. The importance of gainful employment for empowerment was confirmed earlier also by Magda Rich when she shared her experience from India and said that “another reason why they (people with disabilities) are considered as a curse or a burden to their families is because they are not financially productive. ... financial inclusion is extremely important. It is one of the basic ways to gain respect and become part of the community.”

Finally, Peter confirms that developing a long term strategy in consultation with all relevant actors is the one that can have lasting and sustainable impact.  This is what we intend to do, to develop with a participatory approach a framework that can be useful to help national initiatives to encourage and sustain care/social farming practices for the benefit of small-scale local farmers, rural women and those in need of social services, in particular, the children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other socially disadvantaged groups. The overall aim is to foster sustainable initiatives that can lead to improvements in food security, poverty reduction and social inclusion

Nuttitude K. Price from Australia suggested that we watch the Food Inc movie. I have not seen it but could watch the trailer online. It seems that the movie is really relevant. It calls for a change in farming and in our eating habits and campaigns for local and nutritious food production. Care/social farming is a farming practice that fully promotes these values. Care/social farms promote sustainable farming practices, often organic farming, local food systems, short food supply chains and they are able to create niche markets with the produce that has an important social value. Besides being healthy and nutritious and a source of income for local farmers, care/social farming products are products that were created through a process that have given sense of dignity and self-confidence to the people who produced them.   

Mr Wayne Roberts shared with us the title of his book so that we can look for it and read. It seems from available book reviews, that in The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food he was very successful in giving a comprehensive view on what characterizes industrialized agriculture, its weaknesses and impact on our lifestyle and health, and on the alternative models. What I found really useful is his reflection on the link between cheap food and cheap labour.  [Cheap food] ... “sustains poorly paid workers in factories, and it leads farmers unable to compete with cheap imports to leave rural areas, in turn lowering the cost of urban labor.” (Book review from Daniel Bornstein)

Dr Jacqueline Fletcher from France mentions the relation between care farming and permaculture. If we consider that the philosophy behind permaculture is looking at plants and animals in all their functions and that one of the principles of permaculture is care for the people, then it is certainly an interesting link and desires further reflection.

Magda Rich from the Czech Republic shared a very interesting experience. This is a project she was involved in and through which they created a butterfly garden for therapeutic and training reasons for disabled students who receive practical gardening training to increase their chances to be hired outside the school to earn their living. The garden functions also as an environmental education centre and thus visited by school children and the public. They have a chance to see the work of the disabled which hopefully positively influences their way of seeing the PWD’s.    As she explains, this is not a care farm as we know it from Europe. But this is exactly what we are looking for: examples that carry the aspects and principles of care/social farming adjusted to the local context.

Peter Steele Independent Consultant Agricultural Engineer, Italy
05.05.2014
Peter Steele

Colleagues,

Agriculture and Different People

Everyone is different and, notwithstanding those differences, it is the mix of resources that they bring to their community which provides the basis for success or failure. And, even then, failure is not ‘failure’ as such, but simply just another step on the route to success – helping people to participate and leading to all those productive activities that feature in the summary paragraphs that have been assembled to encourage the wider debate in ‘care farming’.

People with disabilities

My contribution centres upon the most vulnerable of community people – those with disabilities; and, remember, in many countries this may comprise more than 10% local people, and many more if you bring in age, gender and poverty. Typically people look towards the public sector for the resources that they need – reflecting, as it does, an historical approach wherein government traditionally took responsibility for every aspect of social care and/or economic development.

You only have to look at the transition that takes place between the different groups of countries – developing/low-income, industrializing/middle-income and industrialized/rich to see how investment by the private sector begins to take priority – how education, access to information/technologies and a commercial approach to wealth creation quickly changes that original perception. This is when governments have to run to keep up with the private sector and, importantly, learn to manage that divergence in incomes between the majority poor and the minority rich; this is where the Gini Index, the Human Development Index and similar crop up in national planning.

Without some kind of focus people with disabilities will always be part of that majority poor and, in the low-income countries, this typically means part of the rural poor – with all that this implies for living at a distance from decision-makers in the capital/provincial cities. They become the forgotten. This is unfortunate

Empowering people with disabilities

Wherever you look there is general agreement that people with disabilities are entitled to the same life opportunities as everyone else, but no clear ideas on how to actually achieve objectives of this kind. Countries implement laws in support of people with disabilities, and the national agencies promote within the context of those laws to help marshal the resources with which these people are better able to integrate themselves into their local communities. Support, however, has traditionally focused upon health, social and welfare development but, notwithstanding the efforts made by many well-meaning laws, policies and programmes, most people with disabilities continue to be marginalized within their home communities. Issues are those of access to work and employment.

Employment

As people become better informed, they typically demand more and better services. The industrial countries struggle to provide social services to disabled citizens, and achieve limited success; the low-income countries are generally too poor to provide the additional resources with which to make a difference. There is fashion and urgency with providing employment, but this rarely focuses upon people with disabilities. Employment and opportunities for earning an income provide a logical route out of poverty and a step towards empowerment. This raises confidence.

Pro-disability investment programmes are essential and, importantly, link into the marketplace for activities, enterprises and social development that can be shown to be profitable. In this way there is long-term value. An approach of this kind highlights the majority people with disabilities in the low-income countries as typically dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood. The survival of self, family and/or community in which people with disabilities live ultimately depends on the successful exploitation of local industries as an income-provider (and the collective wealth of the people concerned).

Agriculture and care farming

Most supportive initiatives are piecemeal and short-term; representing small investments made on behalf of a handful of recipients over a limited period of time. Given the seasonality of agriculture, even a five year programme of investment may only encompass five growing/production seasons. This is unsatisfactory and restricts options.

Development of a strategy – particularly a national strategy – has long-term advantages for both recipients and providers; there is transparency, people know where they stand, priorities can be taken with confidence and investments made with longer-term opportunities in mind. Strategic guidelines provide opportunities for people with disabilities to take ownership of their future; and to re-appraise, change direction and to select alternative options as the framework of the original strategy becomes dated and new opportunities are recognized. Planning is essential - that people take control and ownership.

Want to explore this further?

The route to making a difference is relatively easy to navigate, and can be summarized within 10 key activity groups that apply to everyone working in support of the people with disabilities. Check out the ‘Guidelines for People with Disabilities in Agriculture’ contained in the draft report ‘Enhancing Opportunities in Agriculture for People with Disabilities: Guidelines for Getting People Involved’ attached to this contribution.

Peter Steele

Agricultural Engineer

Rome

Nuttitude K. Price , Australia
05.05.2014
FSN Forum

Watch the documentary "food inc", it puts things in perspective.

Wayne Roberts policy analyst, Canada
05.05.2014
FSN Forum

I'm excited to see this development. It takes full advantage of the multifunctionality of agriculture and the care embodied in food. I describe one Amsterdam project among many I visited in my 2013 book, The No Nonsense Guide to World Food if anyone is interested in the inspiring way it works there.

Wyne Roberts

05.05.2014
Jacqueline

While I confess that I have no personal experience with care farms in developing countries, I would like to share some ideas and experiences from permaculture projects in Africa and suggest that women are best placed to learn permaculture practices that will reconstitute degraded land and pass these practices on in combination with care farming.   

There are many permaculture projects in Anglophone Africa, many started by Bill Mollison 30 years ago in places where changes in lifestyle/agricultural practices (e.g. the settling of nomadic herders, sustained conflicts or rural depopulation) have damaged ecosystems, or where drought and deforestation have lead to dessertification. 

Teaching permaculture practices to women and children is an effective way of ensuring that these practices are passed on to future generations and also spread within the region.  Permaculture can be adapted for any (micro) climate and soil, it can even reconstitute topsoil over a period of time, because it aims to mimick the most natural of ecosystems, the natural forest. The FAO has already published a report on the potential for forests in feeding rural populations: http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/i2011e/i2011e00.pdf

Naturally, forest gardening is only one aspect of permaculture.  Another important aspect in this context is the traditional knowledge of plants, their nutritional and medicial properties, as well as agricultural practices that are often the domain of women in developing countries.  This knowledge must be respected and practices revived. 

Permaculture, being a simple, but flexible design concept based on whole-systems thinking, also embraces more than farming.  Sanitation and water (harvesting and retention) are key elements as are the use of fuels. 

My personal experience and intuition tells me that promoting women's economic empowerment by creating or supporting combined permaculture and care farming projects would be a highly efficient means to achieve multiple objectives and to do this effectively at a reduced cost.  Moreover, the projects belong to the women from the outset even though they might be operating initially with an NGO as an interactive learning experience.

Naturally, they need the security of (cooperative) ownership of the land, or firmly binding contracts over their long-term use of the land.  It is essential to continuity and transmission of knowledge that they should have security in an age of 'land grabs'.   

These should be small-scale projects -- sow the seeds, continue to water them and they will grow and spread: metaphor.

But as Olivier de Schutter, UN Advisor on The Right to Food, has emphasized, the transition from large scale industrial agriculture to small-scale organic farming practices adapted for the locality are our only option.  We must ensure the imperatives are maintained in Africa through women's involvement.

ReScope is one of the organisations working in Permaculture Africa at this moment.  See for example http://www.seedingschools.org/ 

I don't have other info at my fingertips at present but I do think this combination would be a highly effective use of resources and also of economic empowerment for women.

This type of approach might also be very effective ultimately in countries that have been ravaged by natural disasters, such as Haiti.