The world is worried about food insecurity!
But for a typical woman, her world is a daily decision matrix of what else to sacrifice to feed her family and maintain healthy choices.
Farming is at the root of food security. Women are at the root of household food security.
So, the ‘agriculture-women’ combo is a win-win for healthy families, self-reliant communities and sustainable economies, all elements of the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2022 and beyond, the old sayings of ‘grow what you eat’ and ‘waste not, want not’, must literally be seen as life and health choices.
In the Caribbean, women gravitate towards agribusiness, particularly food processing. They start-off small, empowered to evolve into ‘boss lady’ status, with expectations of growing their brand. But as most micro and small agripreneurs (AgriMSEs) reflect, this journey is not for the faint hearted. Women face several biases qualifying for financing, owning assets and accessing economic resources. But they persevere. This perseverance needs to be rewarded and enabled to unlock the stifled potential of women as economic agents and drivers of change. Effective support to women in agribusiness is also a win-win to better enable them to achieve a thriving life-work life balance.
What Is the Role of Women in Food Security?
Food security isn’t just a question of availability of food, nor of the financial resources to access it. People must also have consistent access to quality, nutritious foods in order to ensure food security.
It is reported that, “If women had the same access to agro-economic resources as men, agricultural and farming production would increase and we could feed approximately 150 million more people.” (FAO, 2021).
The role of women is key in agricultural production and in food security. Women are the primary farmers and producers in a large part of the world; however, their work continues to go largely unrecognised. In fact, in developing countries women comprise approximately 43% of the agricultural workforce.
The Gender Gap in Agriculture
Women make up approximately half of the world’s farmers, but there is massive inequity between male and female farmers—especially in the developing world.
These inequities are most pronounced in terms of women lacking equal access to and control over productive resources. To address this ‘gender gap’ in agriculture, there are numerous NGOs, multilateral agencies, and donors working to improve women’s engagement in and empowerment through agriculture and food security programming.
The IICA- UN Women MoU
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is the specialized agency for agriculture of the Inter-American System that supports the efforts of Member States to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being.
This AgriMSE-Exchange is a dialogue and networking platform to connect AgriMSEs, particularly women, to a powerhouse female entrepreneur, one of our “homegrown” global trailblazers, Colette Cyrus-Burnett, CEO, Global Food Warrior has ‘been-there’ and ‘done-that’, and is 100% committed to advocating for the rights and resources for women in agribusiness. If you want to connect with people who can inspire and motivate you to keep on growing, then this event is for you! It will also be your introduction to IICA and UN Women working together to break-the-bias against women as economic agents.
Register, connect and be part of the global food warrior movement!