Press Release

FAO introduces alternative income-generating activities for rural women

29 October 2021

Rural women in Bukhara and Navoi provinces have been discovering opportunities to generate new income through participation in workshops on business and craft skills. The workshops were organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI).

Photo: © FAO Uzbekistan

«Gender equality and the empowerment of women play an important role in the mandate of our organization. FAO is engaging women in alternative income-generating activities to improve their families' livelihoods, which in turn will reduce their dependence on grazing and other agricultural activities in cold winter deserts. The workshop also facilitates the revival of traditional crafts, because there is always high market demand for such national applied arts products» said Nariman Nishanov, National Coordinator of the CADI project in Uzbekistan.

The workshops were attended by a total of 57 female residents of the village of Chuya in Nurata district, Navoi province and the village Durman in Karakul district, Bukhara province. The classes were conducted by experts in embroidery and traditional crafts. One of them, Matlyuba Bazarova, is Vice–President of the Central Asian Crafts Support Association. She told the participants about the benefits available in the country to support artisans, how to start a business, and also shared her experience and knowledge about the basics of marketing and the creation of home-working jobs.

Photo: © FAO Uzbekistan

Over the three days of the workshops, rural women also learned the basics of sewing skills, national embroidery and making wool blankets. Incorporating a national flavour and modern fashion trends, the participants made pillowcases, chapans, jackets, bags and blankets during practical classes. The expert artisan Venera Kalimullina taught them he details of making woollen blankets: checking wool for quality, washing and drying wool, quilting and much more.

«The participants, mostly women, were selected on the basis of a “Temir daftar” list of citizens who need social and economic protection. Let's hope that thanks to the knowledge and skills they have gained, they will now be able to make additional income and improve the well-being of their families», remarked expert artisan Venera Kalimullina.

The areas where the trainings were organized belong to the project territories of the Central Asian Desert Initiative (CADI). This project aims to promote the conservation and sustainable use of temperate deserts, which are unique ecosystems of global importance. These deserts are important migration areas for birds as well as for wild ungulates. The target countries of CADI are Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. They bear a special responsibility for the preservation of the temperate deserts, which are threatened by anthropogenic and climatic factors. The CADI project, funded by the German Government, has been being implemented since 2016 by the University of Greifswald, the Michael Succow Foundation and FAO.


FAO introduces alternative income-generating activities for rural women


Guzal Fayzieva

National Communication Consultant

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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