It’s Time For Women To Claim A Voice In Agriculture

Photo: Melody Chironda/ Women farmers.

By Melody Chironda

Accra — It is said that women are the backbone of the family and the bedrock of a nation, but yet we hardly hear about their successes and triumphs.

Women hold the keys to Africa’s future but for decades women have faced challenges and constraints in the agriculture sector.

Studies show that women account for nearly half of the world’s smallholder farmers and produce 70% of Africa’s food. Yet, less than 20% of land is owned by women.

Making matters worse is that fact that at least half of women farmers face gender biases in agriculture. Many suffer from the effects of unequal land inheritance and ownership meaning that they can only have to access land through either their husbands or sons. A few have rights over the land they tend.

Natalia Pshenichnaya, Head of AgriTech Programme GSMA, in her presentation said that the agricultural labour force in Africa is made up of 49% women and 51% men. But still women remain under-represented in the decision-making, broadening the scope of research agendas, and setting priorities in agricultural research and development.

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