It is a well-known saying in the dairy sector that women own the milk while men own the cows. In many countries, women play significant roles in different agricultural value chains but are often faced with challenges hindering them from making tangible economic impact. They often lack access to information, education, skills, resources, and finances that can enable them to become financially independent.
To empower Fulani women, the partnership between Friesland Campina Wamco (FCW) and 2SCALE conducted a needs assessment in October 2021 targeting women in Kwara and Oyo state dairy clusters. This assessment identified the gaps in finance and business management skills of these women. This outcome resulted in a women-only training and empowerment program in Kwara and Oyo states consecutively, in June 2022. The training participants were selected from Ajase and Yetoore Allah cooperatives in Kwara state and Fashola and Alaga cooperatives in Oyo state. 25 women from each cooperative were selected making a total of 125 women. The training entailed record keeping, business management skills, customer relations, value proposition, and marketing.
To further equip them to start up or enhance their businesses, the women were given start-up kits containing FCW products such as Frieso, three crown milk, powdered sachet peak milk, Peak 123, branded umbrellas, and chairs. The community leaders/Business Support Service (BSS) coaches in the communities were also integrated into the training to leverage support for these women to grow and sustain their businesses.
Impact of the training on the women’s finances
Speaking with one of the beneficiaries, Ms. Abdulsalam Adama Jumoke, a petty provision seller and member of Ajase Ipo cooperative community said:
From the training, I learnt how to sell and market my goods to members of my community. I usually go from house to house to let them know that I have different milk products available for sale. My husband and my children also help me to tell their friends as well. The training has really helped us in this community because now most of us do not need to go far to access these products
Using the profits, Abdulsalam has expanded her business. This income has benefited her livelihood since she is now in a position to support her husband in raising and educating their children. For her, the main challenge is that due to the close proximity of other beneficiaries selling similar products in her community, sales are at times low. She however hopes to rent a shop in order to make transactions easier and provide consumers with a consistent location where they can purchase the products.