Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, HE Felicity Volk, has visited Jumla to launch a new project to support 380 women-owned agroforestry small businesses in Nepal’s north-west region.
“On International Women’s Day 2023, I’m delighted to be celebrating with women and girls in Jumla. The Australian Embassy is pleased to mark this event by promoting women’s economic empowerment through the Advancing Women in Agroforestry Business Enterprises project,” said Ambassador Volk, as stated in the press release.
The NGO, Business and Professional Women Nepal, is implementing the project with financial and technical support from its Australian partner, Assisi Aid Projects, and the Australian Government, through its Australian NGO Cooperation Program.
The development of sustainable agriculture cooperatives under the project will enable women to build profitable and resilient businesses, and be economically self-reliant entrepreneurs, capable of contributing to their local economies.
Addressing the launch event, Ambassador Volk underscored the Australian government’s commitment to promoting gender equality in the most remote parts of Nepal, it reads.
“Women’s economic empowerment underpins the wellbeing and prosperity of local communities, nations and the globe,” she said. “It is also key to the realisation of the human rights of women and girls themselves.
“That is why the Australian Government has a target that 80 per cent of its development investments must effectively address gender equality.”
During the visit, Ambassador Volk met with women entrepreneurs from Jumla district and learned from them about harvesting and processing of non-timber forest products, including herbs. She discussed ways the new Agroforestry Business Enterprises project would expand opportunities to add value through processing as well as support the sustainable use of resources.