Did you know?
- Women make up a significant portion of the agricultural workforce in developing countries – up to 50% in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Women farmers are less productive than men because they have more difficulty obtaining land, tools, credit and training.
- If women had the same access to these resources as men, they could increase agricultural yields by 20-30%.
- Increased agricultural production could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by up to 150 million.
By empowering rural women – with access to credit, the means to transport crops to market and, more fundamentally, the basic right to make decisions about the use of their land and resources – we are helping to feed the world and bring about important social progress.
Through its Feed the Future initiative and other programs, the United States is working to improve agriculture in 12 partner countries in Central America, Africa and South Asia. Empowering women farmers is an effective strategy. And the results?
- In Tanzania, better irrigation means higher crop yields, and better access to markets equals higher farm income. Still on the agenda: increasing the nutritional value of crops and improving processing and storage of crops.
- To follow @FeedtheFuture and visit his LinkedIn page to see how even small investments produce big results. An earlier version of this article was published on October 9, 2015.