In a new video, Plantwise follows the life of Jacinta Delgadillo, a farmer from Comarapa, Bolivia. Jacinta and her family grow beans, peppers, and other crops for food and to generate an income. When the crops are attacked by pests and diseases, Jacinta uses her local plant clinic to gain knowledge on how to better manage these threats to her livelihood.
Plant doctor advice is supporting women to be more engaged and trained in integrated crop management. For smallholder farmers in Bolivia, agriculture is a family endeavour and involves the husband, wife, and children. And, due to threats like climate change, women have been getting more and more involved with the increasing need to improve their families’ food and nutritional security, and overall quality of life.
Inequalities in access to essential resources such as land, finance, and knowledge, often hinder the progress of women farmers. Plantwise is working hard to bring more balance not only by finding ways to encourage more female farmers to attend clinics but also by training more women to be plant doctors.
Through this, changes are being seen on the ground in Bolivia with women becoming leaders in farming groups and associations, and more women being trained as plant doctors or as scientists working behind-the-scenes in the lab. And the benefits of this are being seen throughout the community, as women advocate the advice and knowledge they are getting from Plantwise, more male farmers who traditionally looked to other sources such as agro-dealers or other farmers, are now also taking advice from plant doctors. All of this setting an example for the youth of Bolivia.
With increasing threats from climate change, pesticide resistance, and invasive species, women farmers are needed more than ever in agriculture and Plantwise is striving to ensure they gain the knowledge they need to participate to their fullest.
As Jacinta says, “nosotras las mujeres prodemos hacerlo, sí podemos” – “we the women can do it, yes we can.”