Women farmers forward!
Author: Harm Custers – Head of Marketing at Takii Europe B.V.
Research shows that women are essential to our global food supply as smallholder farmers. At the same time, they often have little decision-making power and limited access to resources and knowledge. That is the ‘take-away’ from the seminar ‘Women Farmers Forward’, organised by East-West Seed, on the occasion of their 40th anniversary.
Ten inspiring international speakers shared their experiences and vision. Awareness about the importance of women in horticulture is there, and it is starting to spread. And now, the next step: how do we achieve the desired sustainable change and transformation so that women have more control and can become more independent? How do we improve access to the necessary resources and knowledge?
It turns out that developing local role models is vital in improvement; a good example tends to be followed! Women, who sometimes break free from their (oppressive) culture and (against all odds) achieve great results as independent growers and entrepreneurs. To further develop into a lead farmer – an example and source of information for many other women in their environment. These protagonists deserve all the credit and support. Fortunately, this is also fully deployed by various organisations with projects in multiple countries.
And thus, gender inequality is improved: more equality for women through better access to resources and knowledge. An equal situation contributes to further development and growth for the local growers, as well as for the supply companies. In addition, it also contributes to some fundamental Sustainable Development Goals, such as ‘zero hunger’ and ‘no poverty’. In short: a triple win by putting women farmers forward!