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Mauritania
 
             
 
         
 
  Agriculture  
     
MAURITANIA AGRICULTURE

 

Access to agricultural resources and services  

Approximately 48% of Mauritanians are employed in the agriculture and livestock sectors. Favorable rainfall in 1994 allowed Mauritanian farmers to harvest 186,000 metric tons of grain, an increase of 80,000 tons over the 1993 harvest. The Mauritanian government has engaged in an irrigation project to utilize the 130,000 hectares of arable land. Most of this activity centers around the Senegal River Valley region, though at present only 30,000 hectares are in use. The U.S. Department of Commerce advises foreign investors to exploit the potential of exporting agricultural equipment. Major dam construction projects in neighboring Senegal and Mali are a significant part of this development scheme.

Land. Few women own land. In the traditional economy, women, youth, and the servant class are not landowners. Decisions on and-use are generally determined by men and the elderly. In 1983, an attempt to reform land tenureship was not widespread.

Livestock. Both men and women are engaged in livestock, with men responsible for large animals and women for small ruminants and poultry as well as for the processing of animal products. Data is not available on ownership, but women generally make decisions on the income derived from their activities.

Forestry. Although data collection is needed, reforestation projects generally do not take into account the needs of women, who are those primarily concerned with the gathering of forest products.

Water. In many places, women and men participate equally in the construction of dams, weirs and breakwaters. Data collection is needed on water supply.

Credit. Women have difficulty accessing credit from formal banking institutions as they do not own land and other collateral. Women's access to credit is primarily through traditional savings groups; data collection is needed on these groups.

Extension services and agricultural training. There is little information on women's access to extension services or their participation in agricultural training. Only about 30% of women are literate, compared to about 50% of men. In 1991 about 55% of all children attended primary schools: 63% of all boys, and 48% of all girls. However, with regards to secondary schools (age 12 and up), 14% of all children attended: 19% of all boys and 10% of all girls. Gender disaggregated figures for tertiary education are not available.

In 1988, there was a total of only 97 agricultural extension staff, including 3 women, or about 3% of the total.


Areas to be strengthended
Policy Planning and Research.

• The Secretariat of State on the Status of Women needs to be strengthened in terms of staff and financing.

• Data collection, statistics and research on women's roles in and contribution to agriculture should be increased.

• Gender training should be extended to staff at the national and regional levels.

Access to Agricultural Resources and Services

• Greater efforts are needed to improve women's access to credit, education and technical training, income-generating activities, extension, water supply, wood fuel, and appropriate technologies, particularly for food processing.

Women's groups should be strengthened and women's participation promoted in village structures, particularly in the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of projects.

fao.org

 
Source: fao.org  

 
   

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