Women in Agriculture

by Developed Africa 23. August 2013 09:00

A recent article from the New York Forum on the future of Africa highlighted the importance of women in agriculture.

Many statistics point towards the importance of women and agriculture, and thus point towards the obvious necessity to invest in, and create projects supporting, women. The statistics the New York Forum called attention to were as follows: 

"60 to 80 percent of agricultural work, while in Congo, female farmers produce more than 80 percent of food crops"

which is an impressive amount, but not one that has any sway in business dealings. Not only this, but a recent post from NEPAD highlighted that:

over two thirds of all women in Africa are employed in the agricultural sector and produce nearly 90 percent of food on the continent".

Therefore it is important to invest in the welfare, education, and power of women, as they make up such a large percentage of a production sector, so hold the possibility of a lot more potential and power in the future. The New York Forum states that fortunately there is a lot of investment being put into things like training for women in agriculture. But it is not just training in terms of the tool and labour training supported by FarmAfrica, but also training in technology and computers. 

For example the Women's charity the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) are encouraging and supporting women to gain knowledge and experience of ICT and technology. They have also specifically advocated the use of technology by women in agriculture as it helps keep them connected even if they live in very rural areas. The Next Women Business magazine posted an article on how projects like those from WOUGNET can help women develop different skills:

By applying ICT to create opportunities for sharing and exchanging knowledge, women are able to expand their network and gain access to more resources"

By investing in women in this way, it allows them to develop and learn more about better farming techniques, as well as knowledge of running businesses, especially as through technology they are able to share ideas with others.

Writing for the Skoll World Fourm, Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director for Hunger Solutions for the World Food Programme argued that:   

 Women are at the heart of a significant untapped potential to increase agricultural production in Africa."

But it should be made clear that it is not just in agriculture in which women need to be supported, women are key players in all other sectors of the economy, and therefore are obviously worth investing in other areas too. There are already several opportunities available from developedafrica.com that support women in business, a number in agriculture as well as in advertising media and entertainment, and the food & hospitality industry. 



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