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An Evaluation of the AGRITEX/NORAD Women in Extension Programme (WEP)

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A. Bols?
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The long-term development objective of the Women in Extension Programme (WEP) was to increase the productivity and food security in the smallholder-farming sector by providing high quality agriculture services to women farmers. Gender training enabled the Zimbabwe Department of Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX) staff to develop their mobilisation and organisational skills as well as their capacity to work with female farmers. The programme resulted in a significant increase in the number of women joining farmer groups. All interviewed female farmer's groups confirmed that they were benefiting from the extension advice they were getting from the Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs). However many poor women farmers faced constraints to joining extension project groups. Almost all projects, developed under the programme, enhanced food security at household level, encouraged savings among members, and increased the level of disposable income among group members. Project outputs such as fact sheets and a gender manual were produced to ensure that lessons learnt could be replicated. The review team recommended that the project be extended to non-implementing districts and focus on poor women farmers.