A CABI-led study which compares male and female perceptions of access to and use of agricultural advisory services to help improve yields says women should take a lead role in helping to reduce inequalities which hinder their contribution to farming.
Julien Lamontagne-Godwin, lead author of a new paper, published open access in the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, says a network of ‘trained and knowledge-rich female lead “contact” farmers’ could be trialled to understand its potential role in improving the dissemination of agricultural information to women in farm households.
Globally, women represent 43% of the agricultural labour force but they have less access than men to credit, education, land ownership, high quality inputs, and rural advisory services. Agriculture can be a powerful pathway out of poverty but without fair access to these things, women aren’t always in a position to fully benefit.
Located in semi-arid Eastern Kenya, Machakos county is home to the Umatui amazing site women group. The group comprises 15 members who mainly grow tomatoes, cowpeas, pigeon peas, and maize. It is among eight other women groups working with Katoloni Community Based Organisation (CBO), a non governmental organization under infonet biovision. The CBO runs a mobile Plant Clinic in Machakos county, Kenya and mostly targets organized farmer groups.
Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic contraints which limit their full inclusion in agriculture. The FAO suggest that closing the gender gap in access to productive resources could increase agricultural output in the developing world by 2.5-4%, reducing the number of undernourished people by 12-17%. Women in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia produce more than half of all the food grown worldwide. Empowering women in agriculture is fundamental to achieving the global goals.
The Pest Smart program aims to enable farmers, particularly women and marginalized groups, to become resilient against potential pests and diseases outbreaks due to climate change.
The Pest Smart program promotes the adoption of climate-smart practices that manage pests and diseases, and empowers women to be actively involved in the decision-making process. It also serves as a platform to build the capacity and encourage participation of women farmers in dealing with pests and diseases (P&D).
The Plantwise programme supports local implementing organizations in their efforts to mainstream gender equality in their activities. The Plantwise steering committee in Honduras invited Olinda Rubio (Chief of Communications at the Ministry of Agriculture [SAG-SENASA] and gender expert), to join the team and lead the in-country Plantwise gender strategy, which focuses on ensuring the inclusion of both men and women groups, and tailoring plant clinic services to their needs.