Women-led energy efficient agricultural model in the dry zones of Chicamocha Canon

Country: Colombia

Organization: MEEPZA

Representative: Fundación Guayacanal

Email: c.institucional@guayacanal.org

Description of the project: MEEPZA is an agro-environnemental

development initiative led by local women using

local resources. Working on climate change adaptation, the project

promotes efficient energy management within the households.

The project’s main resource is the planting and production of Nopal

(cactus) products. The Nopal plant is chosen because of its properties

that make it an efficient carbon sink. The project beneficiaries

are 30 rural women and their families (a total of 180 people).

The project has generated many positive results in terms of food

security, recovery of agricultural profitability, agro-environnemental

development with gender equity, and highlighting the economic

potential of arid zones.

Climate impact: This project is an adaptation measure responding

to the impact of climate change in arid zones. The Nopal plant

has high energy potential and adaptation capacity to extreme

temperatures and depleted soils. The agro-ecological management

of these crops means recovery of soils and the profitability

of agricultural activities that use low input technology. Also, animals

feed on Nopal plants, and the plants are fertilized with their

manure, which is another sustainable use of local resources.


Gender impact: The initiative focuses on women’s equal rights,

opportunities and empowerment through capacitybuilding

and revenue generating activities. In this project, the

empowered women also involved their families, thus resulting

in a greater impact. MEEPZA ambitions that women see

their actions not only as an income opportunity, but also as an

engagement for climate resilience, food security, and gender

equality. This is strengthened by encouraging their participation

in decision-making spaces within their communities.


Scalability / replicability: MEEPZA is a decentralized project

that can be replicated in any arid region with limited access to

water. The applied techniques are low-cost and sustainable,

therefore, could encompass a complete production chain that

starts from an agro-ecological use of local resources.

To ensure gender-responsive replication of the project, women

are trained to provide technical assistance with a gender lense to

those new initiatives.