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Women Changing The Future Of Agriculture In Africa… Know How?
Agriculture - the backbone of Africa's economy employing approximately 60% of the continent's workforce. With many farmers facing several challenges like drought, pests, and diseases, agriculture in Africa remains largely underdeveloped. However, women are taking the lead in transforming agriculture by adopting several innovative practices that are helping in increasing productivity and improving food security. If you have come to this blog, we assume you are quite interested in women agriculturists. Let's take a brief -
Responsible for producing up to 80% of the continent's food, women have always played a critical role in agriculture in Africa. For many years their contribution to the sector was largely ignored and also excluded from decision-making processes by denying access to resources such as land, finance, and education. But fortunately, many organisations are working to empower women farmers and promote gender equality in the sector, so the recognition of the importance of women in agriculture is growing.
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In recent years there are significant developments in rising women-led farming cooperatives, which have emerged as a powerful force for change across the continent. The cooperatives bring together women farmers to share knowledge, resources & expertise, also providing a platform for advocacy and representation.
Let's dig into some of the women farming groups in Africa -
Mwihoko Women Group
Established in 2012, this group brings women farmers together. It has over 500 members and continuously promotes sustainable agriculture practices in the region. The group members receive training on topics such as organic farming, crop rotation, and soil conservation and are also supported to access finance to invest in their farms.
Network of Women Farmers
Established in 2012 this group supports women farmers in the country and provides training on a range of topics, including financial management, marketing, and agribusiness, as well as facilitating access to finance and equipment.
These cooperatives are not only empowering women farmers but are also contributing to the broader development of the agriculture sector in Africa. By promoting sustainable farming practices and increasing productivity, they are helping to improve food security and boost rural economies.
Some prominent African women Agriculturists
Martha Fanny Gaisie
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Martha grew up working her way through all the books she could get her hands on & setting incredible academic records in her school. Although poverty-related issues impacted her access to education anyhow Gaisie managed and today she's the founder and CEO of a business called Healthy Choice Agro Consult. After witnessing the impact of the climate crisis on her community, she founded the business to help with the education of the children.
In 2019, with the help of the Mastercard Foundation & CAMFED, she started her oyster mushroom agriculture business. She has been continuously empowering her employees through skills development, and even committing to a social project.
Her foundation dedicated to empowering young women in rural communities contributed 5% of business profits to the Empowered Youth Foundation.
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Cindy Ateng is a medical student and CEO of Fresh Veg Agri-Business in Ghana. She faced interruptions to her education due to poverty, but despite this fact, she is achieving her goal of becoming a doctor and she's providing her community with affordable food from her own business. The business is also linked to promoting good health & supporting sustainable development goals. By continuously working to empower women in her community, Cindy also helps them on their entrepreneurial journeys.
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Olivia Kipo started organic farming in 2018 in response to various challenges in her community & founded Kobaa Farms which uses sustainable methods of farming. The farm is located near a dam, allowing them to dig a well to irrigate the crops so that they can operate throughout the year without having to depend on the rainy seasons. Her sustainable climate-smart business supplies vegetables to three hotels, four restaurants & several households.
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Miriam Nyati is a business-savvy sustainable agriculture expert who wouldn't let anything get in her way of obtaining a tertiary education qualification. She was the first person in her family to complete high school, afterward, she started a business selling fritters.
Helping farmers with sustainable improvements and boosts in their overall harvests Miriam is an agricultural extension development officer. She has great knowledge about proper spacing, planting, fertilizer application, weeding, watering, etc.
So, this blog briefs you about African women agriculturists uplifting rural communities through agriculture and being climate-smart about it. Being on the frontline of agriculture, African women are taking the lead in transforming agriculture by adopting several innovative practices that are helping in increasing productivity and improving food security.