On 8 March in Paris, International women’s’ day, Sia Germaine Millimouno and Kèbè Lamah, two Guinean women parboilers, received an award from the Stop Hunger foundation. The Food security, resilience and agroecology in Guinea* project team paid tribute to the two winners by organising a meeting in Nzérékoré on 30 March.
All the women parboilers’ unions supported by the project were present for the occasion. This meeting made it possible to communicate on best practice guidelines for rice and palm oil produced by stakeholders in the value chains, with support from GRET and the Guinean entrepreneurs’ centre (MGE). These guidelines play a key role in the improvement of product quality, making it possible to establish contracts with institutional stakeholders.
Farming and professional organisations are involved in local consultation mechanisms; and it is precisely the combined efforts of the various parties involved focusing on school food based on local rice and professionalization of the women parboilers’ unions that made it possible for the award winners to obtain this prize, with Guinea having recently been affected by the Ebola virus epidemic. In 2017, the World Food Programme (WFP) signed contracts with these unions for 1,166 tons of rice for pupils eating in 331 school canteens.
The ceremony was motivating for some of those in attendance, while for others it was an opportunity to better understand the importance of actions to highlight local farming products – such as rice and palm oil – promoted by the project.
* The Food security, resilience and agroecology in Guinea project is funded by the European Union and implemented by GRET in partnership with MGE. It aims to contribute to improving the resilience of family farms in Middle Guinea and Forested Guinea in the face of health crises and climate change by strengthening their autonomy.