Women Farmers Play a Key Role in Food Security!

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

Women - farmers, workers, entrepreneurs, care-givers, mothers, wives and daughters play a  key role in food production. With 43% of the agricultural labour force in the developing world, they're the backbone of the rural economy, but their access to productive resources and services are limited, they're over represented in unpaid, seasonal and part-time work, and are often paid less than men, for the same work. Women's activities typically include producing agricultural crops, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working for wages in agricultural or other rural enterprises, engaging in trade and marketing, caring for family members and maintaining their homes. Between men and women has always been a gap:

  • Farms owned by women are smaller and more dispersed plots than those held by men. Women are less likely to hold title, secure tenure, or have the same rights to use, improve, or dispose of land
  • Generally women use lower levels of technology because of difficulties in access, cultural restrictions on use, or regard for women’s crops and livestock as low research priorities
  • Women have less access to formal financial services because of high transaction costs, limited education and mobility, social and cultural barriers, the nature of their businesses, and collateral requirements, such as land title, they can’t meet
  • Women are less mobile than men, both because of their child care and household responsibilities and because of sociocultural norms that limit their mobility
  • Women are less educated, particulary in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Illiteracy hampers their access to understand technical information and the ability to understand them. Worldwide, women have less access to education and training in agriculture.

What would happen if women had equal access to resources and power in agriculture as men? Would it make any difference in feeding the forecasted 10 billion persons by 2050? Given equal access to resources as men, women would achieve the same yield levels, boosting total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5-4 %. This could reduce the number of undernourished people in those countries by as much as 17%, which leads up to 150 million less hungry people. If the world population does, in fact, reach 10 billion people by 2050, agricultural production will need to increase by 60 % in order to meet food demands. Coupling these figures with the projected effects of climate change on agriculture, rural women in developing countries represent one of the greatest underutilized resources for achieving food security. Already, women’s roles vary considerably among and within regions and are changing rapidly in many parts of the world where economic and social forces are transforming the agriculture sector. For example, the growth of modern supply chains for high-value agricultural products is creating significant opportunities – and challenges – for women in on-farm and off farm employment.

Agrivi for women farmers!

women farming facts

To encourage women farmers to use technology for increasing their farming productivity, we are offering 50% discount for all women farmers who purchase Agrivi subscription till 15.3.2014! Just contact us at sales@agrivi.com and we will send you discount code. Sign up for Agrivi now!