Women of Kanem taking the lead in agricultural development
In the western Chad region of Kanem, the majority of men from poor rural families have migrated to areas with better economic opportunities to ensure the survival of their families. Women are often left as head of household and assume particularly heavy tasks, including cultivating the land.
Agricultural production has dropped and food insecurity has risen, resulting in higher rates of chronic malnutrition among women and children than in the rest of the country. FAO has been working with vulnerable populations in the region since 2010 to help reduce malnutrition. Because the poorest rural families have limited access to fertile irrigated land in the “wadi”, they cannot cultivate vegetables that are essential for a nutritious diet. To establish support for gardening activities, small irrigation projects and education on nutrition, FAO brought together landowners and farmers without access to irrigable land in the wadi. These efforts led to greater agricultural production, improved incomes and a dramatic decrease in malnutrition.