Africa: Female farmers excluded from conversations that determine agricultural policies & laws

Author: Lewis Ndichu, China Daily, Published on: 31 March 2020

‘Africa's female farmers need better access to resources’ 1 April 2020

Africa's female farmers play a vital role in food production and food security, with 80 percent of agricultural production coming from small farmers, most of whom are rural women. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, women in some African countries spend up to 60 percent of their time on agricultural activities, accounting for up to 50 percent of labor on farms in sub-Saharan Africa.

…Third, biased cultural practices restrict African women from accessing information and communications technology. Furthermore, illiteracy and a lack of formal education are constraints that most rural women face. Fourth, socioeconomic conditions affect the decision-making role in agriculture. Although Africa's female farmers are heavily involved in agriculture, their level of participation in farm management decision-making is quite low.

…Devoting resources to researching the impact of agricultural policies and new techniques on the well-being of female farmers will go a long way in promoting systematic evaluation of mechanisms to improve women's access to agricultural markets and ensure their participation in agricultural value chains. In addition, improving access to financing by lowering collateral requirements will empower women in agribusiness.

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