On the Ground with: Association for Women’s Agricultural Produce on Earth (AMSATI)

Empowering women to farm for a sustainable future in El Salvador

Gender inequality in El Salvador is an enduring social problem, particularly as it pertains to land ownership and women's ability to grow food and thrive in agriculture. Legally, women have equal rights to access bank loans and land, but tradition considers women unsuited to handle financial matters or own land independently. Women's lack of economic autonomy perpetuates the cycle of poverty, contributes to food insecurity and is a major roadblock for broader development efforts.

Building capacity through agro-ecological training

Association for Women's Agricultural Produce on Earth (AMSATI) trains women to grow food and start agricultural businesses using small tracts of land and sustainable agro-ecological techniques. AMSATI  implements training programs for rural women's committees to cultivate vegetable crops and strengthen women's capacity to manage collectively- and independently-owned farms.

Transforming lives, nourishing the earth

Since AJWS began supporting AMSATI's efforts in 2007, AMSATI has helped more than 100 women grow sustainable vegetable gardens, establish small agricultural businesses such as poultry farms and develop bio-fertilizers to control pests and diseases.

Hunger prevention fast facts

  • Seventeen percent of the Salvadoran population cannot afford enough food to reach the recommended minimum intake of 2,100 calories per person per day.
  • Seventy percent of rural Salvadoran women lack access to a direct water supply.
  • About three fifths of Salvadoran farmers own little to no land.

Voices of Change

"Through trainings one acquires knowledge, experiences and personal growth, and there is a moment when one places a limit on what should be possible, like men's mistreatment of women. If I hadn't been involved in AMSATI's programs, I would have stayed with my husband. I recognize how AMSATI has changed me, and so do people who know me."

—Ena, community farmer

"My family values me as a result of my participation in [AMSATI's] productive projects. When they saw that I started participating in the productive agricultural projects, they said that 'yes, we are grateful for what she does.' My husband says that, 'if my wife weren't organized, we wouldn't have any of this.' My family values my participation. Recently, my husband finds other people who participate in the cooperatives and tells them that everything has changed as a result of my efforts in organizing and participating in the program."

—Sonia, mother, community farmer

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Association for Community Development of the Cienaga Grande (ASPROCIG) Restoring food security through ingenuity and tradition in Colombia
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