Central role of women in achieving food and nutrition security

Photo credit: UN News Centre

A woman planting a shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa )in Ghana to protect riverbanks, and for her economic empowerment. Shea butter is eaten or sold for cosmetics. Photo: IFAD/Dela Sipitey

Women farmers pillar of food security – UN agencies

Ahead of International Women’s Day, United Nations food relief agencies gathered to remind the world that women farmers play a central role in achieving food and nutrition security, urging countries to step up efforts to empower rural women who too often do “backbreaking work” to harvest food.

In India, women carry food. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark - http://static.un.org/News/dh/photos/large/2015/March/03-05-2015Women_Bank.jpg
In India, women carry food. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark – http://static.un.org/News/dh/photos/large/2015/March/03-05-2015Women_Bank.jpg

“Women are the backbone of rural societies as they grow and process food and make sure their families are well-fed and well-nourished,” said International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President Kanayo Nwanze in his opening remarks at an event in Rome, where the UN food-related agencies are headquartered.

“Rural women need more opportunities to participate, improve their skills, gain access to assets, and be involved in agricultural production and marketing. Let us all work together to empower women to achieve food and nutrition security. For their sake and the sake of their families and communities,” he added.

Joining the IFAD President were leaders from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to share their approaches to empowering rural women, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in an effort to reduce rural poverty.

This year’s International Women’s Day – celebrated around the world 8 March – also marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Platform for Action. However, despite that historic agreement by 189 governments, no country in the world has yet achieved gender equality.

The food agencies highlighted the “feminization of agriculture,” a new trend sparked by the migration of men in developing countries to urban centres. Approximately half of the agricultural workforce worldwide is now made up of women.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

The link between desertification and climate change

Photo credit: Google

An olive grove in the Mascara Region, Algeria (Photo UNEP)

Algeria: IPCC Adopts Algeria’s Proposal On Desertification, Climate Change

Algeria’s proposal on the elaboration of a special report on the link between desertification and climate change have been recently accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The announcement of accepting Algeria’s proposal was made in the meeting of the 41st session of IPCC held from 24 to 27 February at the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi (Kenya).

This proposal was supported by several countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Mali, Chad, Switzerland and Spain.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Watershed Management in Ethiopia

Photo credit: Google

Mt. Damota in Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Watershed Management Contribute for Sustainable, Effective Agricultural Yields

Some years ago, due to erosion, Damota Mountain surrounding dwellers used to be advised to leave their farms and move to other places at the expense of farming activities they carried out. Wolayta farmers recently visited watershed works in the environs of Damota Mountain. Currently, the mountain looks beautiful green land and completely opened and known for various activities which potentially assists a great variety of economic activities.

Wolayta Zone Administrator Eyob Wate said that the watershed management activities carried out in the zone could enable local farmers to move back to their farmlands. This could be due to the rational and socially acceptable utilization of all the natural resources for optimum production to fulfill the present need.

Local farmers and the wider community who depend on the land were engaged in the planning process in the move to rehabilitate the degraded land, he said.

Eyob also said that participatory watershed management in the State assists to generate greater cohesion within the society and enable the newly settled farmers to benefit from various assets created and eventually to overcome their food insecurity. More than 11,132 hectares of land in all weredas were identified for youths and the utilization of improved farming methods are now being undertaken for improved agricultural production, he added.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Agriculture plan in South Africa

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3rd Global Conference On Agriculture, Food And Nutrition Security And Climate Change, South Africa, December 2013

Grand agriculture plan gets Cabinet’s nod

Pretoria - Cabinet has approved the five-year Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Strategic Framework and Agricultural Policy Action Plan, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, said on Thursday.

“The framework sets out the key challenges faced by the three sectors and proposes interventions in four areas namely equity and transformation; equitable growth and competitiveness, environmental sustainability and governance,” he said.

Addressing the post Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Minister Radebe said the strategy and the action plan will be updated on an annual basis.

“Land distribution is one of government’s programmes that has promoted equity but so far without accomplishing a great deal by way of transformation.

“Whereas the Reconstruction and Development Programme declared that the main purpose of land distribution was to alter the structure of South African agriculture, [the policy] also seeks to support the sectors to grow the economy and create jobs,” Minister Radebe said.

Read the full article: SA news

Plan to stem hunger but without input from S. Africa’s poor

Photo credit: Google

Children in Wicker Village

Success and achievements of women in agriculture

Photo credit: FoodTank

Tea farmers in Uganda

Women Farmers Making it Happen

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the success and achievements of women in agriculture, while also calling on more resources and support.

by Randy Plett

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is “Make it Happen.” All over the world, there are innovative women inspiring us at Food Tank. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the success and achievements of women in agriculture, while also calling on more resources and support.

Achieving Gender Equality in Agriculture - http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/nodeimage/5842085889_620656d5fe_b_0.jpg
Achieving Gender Equality in Agriculture – http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/nodeimage/5842085889_620656d5fe_b_0.jpg

The Open Working Group (OWG) of the U.N. General Assembly recently proposed their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include the need to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The goals also aim to reduce inequality within and among countries, combat climate change, build resilient communities, ensure access to education, promote healthy lifestyles, end hunger, achieve food security, and promote sustainable agriculture. Women are already making many of these goals happen in villages and cities around the globe.

Sixty-six percent of the world’s work falls on women’s shoulders, yet according to Oxfam they only earn 10 percent of the world’s income. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, providing women farmers access to the same resources as men could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100-150 million. When women earn more, they invest more in the health of their families.

“Women in agriculture play a critical role in shaping our future, and need access to greater resources,” said Laurie Benson, founder of 1% for Women, an organization that empowers women farmers. “The ripple effect created from supporting women in agriculture is truly felt around the world.”

Read the full article: FoodTank

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA)

Photo credit: CCAFS-CGIAR

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) relates to actions both on-farm and beyond the farm, and incorporates technologies, policies, institutions and investments. Photo: V. Atakos (CCAFS)

Evidence of impact

Climate-Smart Agriculture takes root in Africa

by Vivian Atakos, Sékou Touré, Oluwabunmi Ajilore (CCAFS)

As we celebrate Africa Environment day, we highlight Climate-Smart Agriculture and its potential in addressing some of the pressing environmental and developmental challenges facing the continent.

“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments,” said Wangari Maathai, the internationally renowned activist acknowledged for her struggle for democracy, human rights, and environmental conservation.

Dr. Maathai frequently narrated her childhood experience: a world where food was present in the farms all year round and birds would chirp as frogs croaked in anticipation of the rains. Today, over 50 years later, Africa is a different place. Climate related shocks such as droughts and floods are more frequent and are altering how people gain access to food, changing the balance between work, trade and transfers.

As we mark the Africa Environment Day on March 3, we highlight climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices and their potential in improving productivity and livelihoods. Climate-smart agriculture is the result of practices and technologies that sustainably increase productivity, support farmers’ adaptation to climate change, and where possible reduce levels of greenhouse gases. CSA can also help governments to achieve national food security and poverty reduction goals.

Read the full article: CCAFS-CGIAR