(The explanation of the naming of "GenEva's Fruit":
"Geneva" means "of women origin" and "GenEva's Fruit" represents an impartial meeting ground for women of all nations.)
Around the country, farms run by women are on the increase. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms with women as primary operators grew 58 percent from 1975 to 1997, and is predicted that as much as 75 percent of U.S. farmland will be owned by women by 2014.
As more people embrace healthy diets, natural and organic foods are becoming mainstream. According to experts, the trend toward wholesome eating is driven by worries about food safety, as well as peoples' desire to take a more hands-on role in their health. (read more about the health benefits of Muscadine Grapes in the IWTT blog)
A nursery business is one of the great business programs for women who live in rural areas. With access to land, they can lead the production of fruit crops, like Muscadine or Blueberries, and the entire family, including the children, can participate.
IWC has a 1 acre Fruit Orchard in Alabama that will include Blueberries in 2014. Within a few years, this plot will produce between 8-10,000 pounds of Muscadine grapes. Over time, this one acre vineyard can give more than 100,000 cuttings in order to establish a nursery of 40,000 vines.
Muscadine, a native crop of the southeast, can withstand high heat and humidity, resistance to insects and diseases, and hence, it is strongly recommended for organic production. Muscadines are rich in antioxidant phytonutrients and therefore have numerous health benefits.
The orchard will become a training facility, educating women on how to start an agricultural business and specifically about the technique of ‘clonal propagation’.
This Initiative will become a 'blueprint' for sustainable agriculture and will expand to other regions.
Project Women in Agriculture:
Project lead: Dr. Sharon Ingram
Chair of the IWC: Women in Agriculture, 'The New Rich Oil'.
For more information, contact us.
Dr. Girish Panicker's vineyard at Alcorn State University
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