Organic Farming by Women in Kiribati

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 Organic farming has become one of the most sought- after part time job for women looking for self-sufficiency in home gardening in Kiribati. Organic farming, the only practiced method for both subsistence and cash crop farming since the early 1990s since the abolition of fertilizers in the country.

Since the introduction of growing newly introduced food crops into the country by the Agriculture   Division, women has taken over the agribusiness industry, through trainings and workshops. They sustain their farms with the help of their children who assisted by collecting organic waste materials such as green and brown leaves, sea-weed collection, watering the garden and learning to sell marketable produce.

The Kiribati Outer Islands Food and Water Project’s funded IFAD project has empowered women through numerous trainings conducted on the nine established project islands implemented in the Southern

Empowering women through the project’s training on Humans Right, Goal Setting, Johari Windows, Gender Mainstreaming, Sensitivity and Establishing women’s Organization has been provided.

Cultural Aspects: Culturally, I Kiribati women tend to be left out from decision-making, training, education and employment. In the late 1960s, women lived in the capital as housewives and the government work force was mostly men during the colonial era.

It was in the early 80s when an abrupt change came into being. Young girls flocked secondary schools and office spaces.

As of now, the government work force now is about 70% made up of women in Kiribati.

They have become heads of their households with equal rights as men in decision-making and running the household.


 Compared to women living in the 1970s and a woman of today, the traditional custom where decision-making were left to men has now been reversed.

Top government positions have been filled with more than 60% of women holding top positions and most of the jobs.

In today’s trend, most government, businesses and private sectors are mostly occupied by women.

From the women’s perspectives, money is the leading factor to their independence.

House wives have moved to take on sustainable small-scale farming. This empowers them to earn from their own garden plot, sell the surplus produce and earn their own money which gives them independence.

They are no longer reliant on their husbands for household needs and have enough set aside for their children’s school needs.

Community. Tending a home garden and filling it with leafy vegetables, fruits and edible crops with tubers needs community efforts. Most communities are run by women and they looked after each member’s needs. The practice is to help with home gardening, digging trenches, collecting compost, provide plants and establish home gardens.