In 1995, a group of rural women began meeting at the Office of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1998 the Network of Rural Women Producers of Trinidad and Tobago was registered as a non-profit organization funded through Government subvention and membership fees.
The NRWPTT stated vision is: “To be a national umbrella body promoting rural women’s issues and empowering women to enhance their economic and social well-being.”
With critical support from IICA and other organizations such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the NRWPTT’s first priority was to provide employment opportunities and access to credit for micro-business projects.
The NRWPTT’s membership includes individuals and groups across the country such as the of The Network of Non-Governmental Organizations for the Advancement of Women; Women of the Soil; Toco Foundation; Matura Women’s Group, Fishing Pond Rural Women/Girls in Agriculture, Moruga Women Farmers, NRWPTT Youth Body and Eco Truffles, among others.
The Network takes an integrated approach to women’s and youth empowerment, drawing on local, regional and international partnerships to deliver developmental opportunities to women in such areas as advocacy, agri-business management, agro-tourism, business management and finance, culinary skills, farming, food safety, handicraft (paper, soaps, etc.), information technology, leadership and proposal writing, among others.
Opportunities are provided for the women to market their products during the Caribbean Week of Agriculture and the NRWPTT’s flagship event, the annual Mango Festival as well as to participate in events commemorating International Women’s Day (March 8); World Biodiversity Day (May 22);
UN International Rural Women’s Day (October 15) and World Food Day (October 16) and World Environment Day (June 5).
NRWPTT has Special Consultative Status in the Social and Economic Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is a serving member on the UN Women Latin America and Caribbean Advisory Council,
UN Women Generation Equality Forum and the 21-member UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group. It is involved in Social and Community work on Human Rights; Gender-Based Violence issues;
Climate Change and Natural Disasters; and the UN Decade of Family Farming. It is a partner in the EU-funded project “Enhancing Civil Society Capacity for Governance of Environmental Transparency and Accountably Project of Trinidad and Tobago’s Extractive Industries.”