CGIAR Gender News

Gender-integrated business strategies empower women in Zambia

Fish farmers Photo: WorldFish

In Zambia, small businesses are developing gender-integrated business strategies to encourage women to enter the aquaculture sector and offering discounted rates for farm inputs.

In Zambia, rural women play a vital role in aquaculture and related value chains, but their contributions often go unrecognized. Fish farming is often perceived as “men’s work,” leaving women to participate more in informal activities like fish processing and trading.

This harmful assumption is holding back the potential of the sector to be a key source of income and food and nutrition security. By promoting the full engagement of women in fish farming, we will not only make gains toward gender equality but also improve aquaculture’s productivity.

To better incorporate women in fish farming activities, a series of aquaculture training seminars were conducted by WorldFish in Zambia to foster gender-integrated business strategies. This approach seeks to consider gender in all stages of development and assess the implications of any planned action on gender equity. It also includes working with men to raise awareness of the crucial role of women in fish farming. The seminar’s participants were mainly farmers and agricultural dealers, who supply fish feed and juvenile fish fingerlings to smallholder farms in remote northern areas.

The selected trainees were recruited under the GIZ-funded Piloting Inclusive Business and Entrepreneurial Models for Smallholder Fish Farmers. The project aims to develop pro-poor, gender-inclusive business models that improve access to materials and extension services for smallholder fish farmers and vulnerable value chain actors.