Women farmers are key to a food-secure Africa (AfricaFiles / IPS)

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Summary & Comment: Africa still struggles with cultural and social barriers that block women’s quest for success, but small strides are being made. It also makes sense that the leadership of Africa’s biggest agriculture organisation is now a woman. M. Makoni

Author: Busani Bafana, Bulawayo
Date Written: 11 May 2012
Primary Category: Food and Land
Document Origin: Inter Press Service
Secondary Category: Gender
Source URL: http://www.ips.org/africa/



While women constitute the majority of food producers, processors and marketers in Africa, their role in the agricultural sector still remains a minor one because of cultural and social barriers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), women are the majority of the world’s agricultural producers, supplying more than 50 percent of the food that is grown globally. And in sub-Saharan Africa the number is higher, as women grow 80 to 90 percent of the food in the region. FAO says that although across the globe women are responsible for providing the food for their families, they do this in the face of constraints and attitudes that conspire to undervalue their work and responsibilities and hinder their participation in decision and policy making.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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