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In Sub-Saharan Africa, 60% of women work in agriculture sector

By Staff Reporter

 Zena (left) and Aster (right)

More than 60% of employed women in Sub-Saharan Africa work in agriculture. But with limited access to land and the resources they need to make the land they do have flourish, many women are unable to provide for their families.

By ensuring our projects recognise the specific needs of women in the communities we work with – and address the distinct set of barriers they face – we are helping more women to find a way to permanently transform their families’ lives.

And investing in women impacts so many more people than just the families involved in our projects. In fact, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation have estimated that if women were given the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase the yields on their farms by twenty to thirty percent – raising total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5% to 4%, in turn.

All of these statistics are impressive, but perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate the importance of investing in women in agriculture is this: it is estimated that closing the gender gap in agriculture could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12% to 17% percent.

At Farm Africa, we recognise that women play a critical role in farming and rural economic development, and one of the cross-cutting priorities identified in our Strategic Plan 2012 – 2015 is to build female farmers’ skills and opportunities so they can improve their incomes and lead enterprises.

We are currently running two projects in Ethiopia that are specifically designed to support women in the field: Time and energy saving for women and Rural women’s economic empowerment. And women benefit from our other projects too – read the case studies below to see how projects such as Beans and peanuts in Uganda are improving the lives of women farmers and their families.

And that is why our work with women is so important. Because equality for women really is progress for all.

-Farm Africa

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