Grant awarded to Strategies for International Development ( SID)

SID was founded for the purpose of finding better strategies for reducing rural poverty. In 1996, they began working in the Altiplano region of Bolivia, helping dairy farmers reclaim land and increase productivity and income. They then helped quinoa farmers do the same. In 2000, they began a program in the Sierra Sur of Perú to help local NGOs achieve environmental and agricultural goals in the same project. They currently help dairy farmers near Lake Titicaca increase their cows’ productivity and reclaim pastureland, while also providing small loans to dairy farmers and cattle fatteners.

(SID) addresses two problems: the poverty of women farmers in developing countries and their inequality. Small farm families in developing countries are 75% of the world’s poor, and women farmers bear more than their fair share of this poverty. They share the farm labor, but they also do most of the rearing of the children, cooking and household chores. In addition, men die younger, they often leave the family farm for salaried labor in cities or other countries, and sometimes they just leave. As such, there are more women single-head-of-household family farms.

SID is now scaling up it’s coffee program to the three major coffee-growing municipalities of Alta Verapaz. There are 18,380 coffee-farming families in the three municipalities, and the coffee program will give them a chance to learn the practices they need to adopt to graduate from poverty. In addition, farmers in at least 50 communities that agree to adopt all the practices will receive twice-monthly technical assistance in doing so. This is the only technical assistance available in building family-farm enterprises in these municipalities. It represents a wonderful opportunity for women to build businesses, either with their husbands or by themselves. As such, SID wants to scale up the women’s program. The beneficiaries of this new women’s program are at least 1,200 women in the 50 communities who will receive monthly assistance that ensures they participate equally in the technical assistance and building family-farm enterprises. Also, one woman in each of the 50 communities will have a part-time job in providing the technical assistance in adopting the practices that increase productivity, price, and income from coffee. In addition, the women in 18,380 coffee-growing families will have a chance to learn the practices by which they can graduate from poverty.

The indirect beneficiaries are the children of these women. Studies show that women are more likely to use additional income on behalf of their children, especially their health and education. Also, women with more confidence, leadership, empowerment, and equal participation are more likely to encourage the same in their children and especially their daughters. And they are role models for their daughters (and sons) to follow. Also, at least 10% of the households are single women head-of-household, and their children rely exclusively on them for their support.