The Pacific Community's (SPC) implemented and European Union (EU) Funded PROTEGE Project has implemented a plan to raise awareness and assist women regarding the transition to agroecology in Taputapuatea Municipality, Raiatea Island, French Polynesia. Agroecology is fundamentally different from other approaches to agriculture and food systems development. Whereas the current industrialised system is extractive and exploitative, agroecology recognises the interdependence of living systems and honours the principles of balance, diversity, harmony, and respect.
The municipality has been working on sustainable agriculture for the past two decades, and has recently incorporated a social and community welfare component. In response to a call for tenders by SPC through PROTEGE, the municipal authorities have taken steps to encourage women to enter the agricultural business and increase the number of female farmers in the area.
The primary objective of this plan is to empower women to start their own farming businesses, with the goal of reducing poverty and providing greater economic stability to their families. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, which has had devastating effects on the community, this objective has become even more urgent and meaningful. Through this plan, women are supported in taking the initiative to become successful entrepreneurs and create a lasting, positive impact on the local community.
TIHONI Viniura, a farmer involved in the activity said, "I’m farming organically in partnership with the Taputapuatea municipal authorities. For noni, they help me clear the weeds and lay compost and fish-based fertiliser on the plants, but I do everything myself when harvesting and then the municipal authorities pick up the fruits and weigh them for market. I’ve worked the land ever since I was a little girl, because my parents grew noni as well. I enjoy it."
Watch the testimony of Taputapuatea's women farmers
(Video availble in French only)
This video and write-up were produced by the Taputapuatea municipal authorities with the financial support of the European Union through the PROTEGE project. Its contents are the sole responsibility of theTaputapuatea municipal authorities and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.