Solar Greenhouses in Malawi: UN Women Boosts Women’s Role in Agriculture


In a significant push for gender equality and climate-smart agriculture, UN Women, in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has unveiled a project to empower women farmers in Malawi. Ten greenhouses equipped with innovative solar-powered facilities have been constructed across three sites in Lilongwe, Salima, and Mzimba.

This initiative marks a noteworthy development in Malawi’s agricultural landscape. “These greenhouses represent more than a new technology,” says Beatrice Mwale, Country Representative for UN Women in Malawi. “They represent a chance for women farmers to increase their yields, diversify their crops, and build resilience against the effects of climate change.”

The $400,000 project goes beyond simply building infrastructure. UN Women has partnered with Thanthwe Farms, a local women-owned agribusiness, to provide crucial training to the women involved. “The training equips women with the knowledge and skills necessary to not only operate the greenhouses effectively but also to integrate them into their existing farming practices,” says Thandiwe Kumwenda, CEO of Thanthwe Farms. “This includes crop diversification techniques and water management, all essential for long-term success.”

The solar-powered aspect of the greenhouses offers a distinct advantage. “By using solar energy, we are not only reducing reliance on fossil fuels but also ensuring a sustainable and cost-effective power source for these greenhouses,” explains KOICA representative Kim Soo-yeon. “This aligns perfectly with Malawi’s goals for clean energy adoption.”

Solar Greenhouses in Malawi: UN Women Boosts Women's Role in Agriculture
Photo credits : UN women


The project is expected to have a ripple effect on the Malawian economy. By enabling women farmers to cultivate high-value crops year-round, the initiative has the potential to increase household incomes, improve food security, and create new market opportunities.

This collaborative effort by UN Women, KOICA, and Thanthwe Farms serves as a model for future endeavours that promote gender equality and sustainable agricultural practices in Malawi. As Ms. Mwale concludes, “This project is a testament to the power of partnerships. By working together, we can create a future where women farmers thrive and contribute significantly to Malawi’s agricultural sector.”

Also read: Malawian groundnut farmer transitions into global trader within 3 years

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