Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights In Agriculture
Men and women are all affected by HIV & AIDS as well as by sexual and reproductive health-related issues. To address these issues, FPI will join hands with other partners to roll out training modules targeting agricultural extension workers and lead farmers on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Healthy farmers, healthy harvest
FAMILY PLANNING IN AGRICULTURE
The high rate of teen pregnancy in the farming community can be attributed to the unmet need for family planning and limited access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Limited access to family planning commodities for young people, who make up 15 per cent of the world's population, impacts agricultural productivity in terms of population growth, which significantly influences demand for food against shrinking land resources.
FARMER'S FIELD SCHOOLS
FPI is targeting to train 600 master trainers in each country it has presence, largely government agricultural extension workers. When the master trainers return to their countries and home districts, they will train community-based facilitators, who then establish farmer field schools, and outreach groups.
Overall, the project will train 8,000 community-based facilitators. Facilitators who have been trained will form 13,400 farmer groups. This translates to almost 400,000 households having access to information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
HIV/AIDS and agrobiodiversity
Agrobiodiversity and indigenous knowledge present enormous potential to empower rural people in tackling food insecurity and addressing AIDS-related impacts. They are local, available and affordable resources which could widen the range of options for agriculture, food security, nutrition, healthcare and livelihoods among poor AIDS-affected households.
In addition, they assume increasing importance as other resources dwindle, become unaffordable, or disappear. All too often, local biodiversity and indigenous knowledge are the only assets left in poor rural communities. Their adequate recognition, promotion and integration are thus essential.
SELF HELP GROUPS Micro-finance
Microfinance and community credit are examples of rural institutions that are considered essential in mediating the impacts of HIV/AIDS. Micro-finance is important to rural households unaffected by AIDS, because it permits them to be economically productive and to accumulate savings that may be needed later. Once a household has experienced an HIV illness or AIDS-related death, credit institutions are central to maintaining the economic viability of those household members who are able to work and care for the afflicted household members. Novel credit mechanisms need to be developed, such as providing insurance in case of loan defaulting because of sickness, or identification of a person who would take responsibility for repayment in case the credit-receiver falls ill.
Monitoring and evaluation of response strategies
FPI-I believes that response strategies need to be appropriately monitored and evaluated to assist in the design and implementation of more effective programs to alleviate the impacts of HIV/AIDS on rural livelihoods and food security. In addition, participatory monitoring systems should be developed with people so that they can themselves measure progress.
The following international tools will be used to measure vulnerability: the tools include:
Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FAO);
Global Information and Early Warning Systems (FAO);
Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping System (WFP);
Participatory Poverty Assessment (IFAD).
These systems need to systematically incorporate HIV/AIDS indicators into regular data collection. To achieve this, new indicators and appropriate methodologies need to be developed.