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Africa’s women farmers are disadvantaged
– by Hans Dembowski
© Tanzanian farmer
Noorani / Lineair
The productivity gap is said to range from 13 % in Uganda to 25 % in Malawi. The research for the report was done in Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. These six countries make up more than 40 % of the sub-Saharan population. The authors list several reasons for women faring worse than men:
- African agriculture is labour intensive, and women farmers tend to have fewer family members to help them. Many of them are widows or single for other reasons.
- Women farmers are less able than men to hire workers.
- Male farmers are better educated on average.
- Access tends to be unequal to fertilisers, pesticides, land, markets and extension services.
- Smallholder farmers mostly share important information in informal networks, and women are typically excluded from such networks.
The study states that "closing Africa’s gender gap is about more than just ensuring that women farmers have equal access to key productive resources". Socio-economic factors that limit women’s ability to make the most productive use of resources must also be tackled, the World Bank and ONE conclude. (dem)