Women In Agriculture – An Agenda for Action.
One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is the increasing demand on food, from a growing population, and climate change. In my view, agriculture is an eco-system, in which the 7.2 billion plus individuals on planet earth all play a critical part in. Each individual eats and drinks whether the have a roof over their head or they are homeless.
Through agriculture, individuals are able to create job opportunities, accelerate economic growth and also ensure food security for all. In South Africa, The National Planning Commission for example believes that agriculture has the potential to create one million new jobs by 2030.
In most households, it is women who have taken the central role of ensuring that the family has been fed. A claim is often heard that women produce 60 to 80 percent of food in most developing countries and half of the world’s food supply (Momsen, 1991; Mehra and Rojas, 2008).
I think it is critical to identify women who are shining stars, who stand out and have taken a lead to spearhead agriculture and recognise them for their contributions under the banner, Banking On Africa’s Future. I say so because I have only met two women, whom in my view stand out in agriculture, Carin Van den Berg of Lily Valley Farms, which employs 70 women directly involved in production. The second woman I have met is Dr Brylne Chitsunge, the Pan African Parliament’s food security ambassador and Chief Executive of Elpasso Farms.
There has never been a better time than now for women with an interest in agriculture to come together despite geography, to share personal experiences, exchange ideas and exchanging value through the use of technology. The AU’s agenda 2063, The Africa We Want, number one priority is, A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 2 is, Zero Hunger. That can only be driven by all individuals in whom the promise of Africa resides, wo(men) taking a leading role.
Tinashe Mpasiri hosts the Continental Sunrise Breakfast Show, weekdays between 06:00 – 09:00 CAT on The 1873 FM online radio platform ( www.the1873fm.com ). He is also a Director of Green Buds Fresh Produce.