True or False: Women Grow More Than Half The World’s Food
Why, the answer is True! And in poorer countries they produce 60–80% of the agricultural yield, according to Jeannette Gurung, director of the Washington-based Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and National Resource Management, in this piece by Women’s E-News. And it’s because even big food movers like the U.N. World Food Programme are looking to buy locally-grown food whenever possible. This means they are turning to smaller operations, which are more likely to be run by women.
In the past, said Gurung, aid tended to support agribusiness and overlook agriculture in development assistance. But when food prices spiked in 2007 and 2008 development organizations began to take a new approach that brought small-scale female farmers more to the policy fore.
“They were putting the emphasis on the wrong actors and there’s been a shift to see small-scale farmers as the real farmers of the world,” said Gurung in a recent phone interview. “And once they looked at small-scale farmers, they began to look at women.”
More and more countries and NGOs are keeping gender specific data, which can also help aid workers in the field to see situations where women farmers have less access to tools than men in the same area and work to get rid of that disparity.