Gambia: The Gambia Now Has Its First Woman-Owned Natural Cotton Farm

Elsie’s Females Empowerment Farm is the first ladies-owned farm producing organic cotton within the Gambia, and because the title might perhaps perhaps well furthermore imply, ladies’s financial empowerment is at the coronary heart of this challenge. Furthermore, as a member of the Younger Feminine Farmers Affiliation, Elsie A. Williams works in conjunction with the association to eliminate ladies’s role in agriculture.

‘My vision became to revitalize cotton production in The Gambia,’ says the farm proprietor. ‘When we’re winning with this, considerable more of us might perhaps perhaps non-public jobs. I told myself to eliminate the accountability and mobilise varied ladies, as I will’t elevate out this alone.’

The Gambia has a wisely off history in cotton production – a necessary money slice within the 1970s and 1980s. On the opposite hand, resulting from political changes, cotton production and export lowered vastly at the tip of the century.

Searching at the transferring market, Elsie identified a rising build a matter to for organic cotton lately. This trend motivated her to start the Elsie Females Empowerment Farm in 2019.

‘We feature out no longer utilize unfriendly chemicals and at the the same time get true prices in export. The realm desires more organic,’ Elsie proudly declares.

Having got a grant from the World Alternate Centre’s SheTrades Gambia challenge, financed by the OPEC Fund for World Pattern and the Enhanced Constructed-in Framework, Elsie became in a position to buy land, seeds and equipment to start her industry. She furthermore enhanced her expertise thru coaching, from programs on anecdote keeping to packaging and product photography.

‘The enhance from SheTrades became a compulsory part for my farm to evolve,’ explains the founder of Elsie Females Empowerment Farm. ‘We were in a position to buy a weeding and seeding machine to amplify the effectivity of our production. Earlier than the coaching in anecdote keeping, I had no overview of my charges. Now, I know on what I spent my money.’

On her 5-hectare farm, Elsie employs 30 of us, largely ladies. Whereas many companies within the Gambia were heavily suffering from the COVID-19 crisis, the organic farm stayed resilient, operating as recurring. Within the next season, Elsie expects to export over a ton of cotton while continuing to work on acquiring her organic certification.

Over the following few years, the supervisor intends to revitalize the cotton sector by exporting raw cotton, while setting up a price chain within the region.

Whereas her long-term vision is the local production of woven material and dresses, she is now specializing within the production of cotton oil – an achievable target and particular individual that silent promises substantial price-addition.

‘Many build no longer know that cotton oil is an efficient therapy for nausea, fever, headache, diarrhoea, dysentery, nerve peril, and bleeding,’ says Elsie.

The Gambian plans to sell the oil with its precious properties without extend to local prospects apart from to exporting it internationally. The packaging and photography coaching she got from SheTrades gave her many strategies on how to proceed with this, she explains excitedly.

Meet Elsie A. Williams on her web web site and be taught more about her farm:

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