Food Tank and GFAR partner to support women farmers
Food Tank and The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) are to partner to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders as well as help identify ways to support family farmers.
The collaboration will see Food Tank and GFAR issue research, articles, infographics and videos on the subject as well as run social media campaigns.
Food Tank says the focus will be on ways in which organizations, businesses, governments, and other stakeholders around the world are empowering women and young people in agriculture.
According to GFAR, the average age of farmers globally is around 55 years. In Europe, one-third of farmers are under 35 and in the United States 50% of farmers are 55 years or older.
Food Tank and GFAR say that it is time to cultivate the next generation of food system leaders—young farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs, agronomists, extension agents and educators, researchers and scientists, and policy-makers who can create a more sustainable food system.
“Increased access to education means that young people can be a force for innovation on family farms, increasing incomes and well-being for not only farmers, but also local communities. Young people can develop the agricultural sector by applying new technologies to current work methods,” said Mark Holderness, executive secretary of GFAR.
In addition, women comprise 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, they often face discrimination and lack access to resources, financial services, inputs, and education.
“This gender inequality comes at a huge cost, not just for women, but society as a whole. Discrimination against women can undermine economic development by limiting food security for families and preventing women and girls from achieving greater opportunities in education. In addition, many agricultural research and development programs ignore the needs and hopes of women farmers,” said Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank.
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