In Sudan, most women farmers manually prepare land for the growing season. Tilling and seeding by hand is backbreaking work and extremely time consuming. It can take one woman several days to prepare just a tiny plot of land.
But thanks to MADRE member support, the Women Farmers Union, a project with our sister organization Zenab for Women in Development, has been able to purchase a tractor! Work that took them days by hand will now take only hours with the help of the tractor, which the many union members will share.
Now the farmers are working to purchase two tractor attachments: a planter and a disc harrow. The disc harrow allows for deeper plowing, giving plants more access to underground water sources. This is an important adaptation now that climate change is causing more droughts in Sudan.
In May, Zenab hosted 500 women for a General Assembly. Representing some 60 villages, this gathering allowed the women to learn from one another and plan their activities for the remainder of the year. The Women Farmers Union is the only organization of its kind in Sudan. As one woman farmer said after the General Assembly, “Zenab for Women in Development is the only one who helps us.”
As our partners prepare to plant this year’s crop of sorghum, millet and wheat, Zenab’s founder and director, Fatima Ahmed conveys her thanks: “MADRE members helped us buy this tractor. Thanks to you, more women will be able to feed their children this year and earn money for school fees, medicine and other basic needs.”