Sunday, July 14, 2024

The Toughest Job in the World


The toughest job in the world -a new report details role of women farmers. 80 per cent of the food consumed in Zambia is produced by women.

At the same time, women own or control a small percentage of the land and only receive a tenth of all credits. Agricultural extension workers – usually male spend most of their time providing advice to other men. Women are underrepresented in the farmers own organisations. In short, women farmers lack power and influence.

“If the situation for women in agriculture does not improve, we will never achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty and hunger by half” , says Anna Tibblin, Regional Director of Swedish Cooperative Centre, based in Zambia.

In order to reduce poverty, investments must be made in women farmers. This includes increased control of arable land and access to legal expertise. Evidence also shows that the use of female extension workers is an effective way to increase women farmers’ knowledge.

The new report The toughest job in the world reveals that 700 million women farmers’ and their daughters’ are living in poverty worldwide. The report has been produced by the Swedish Cooperative Centre (SCC) to highlight the challenges at hand.

Launch of the report:

The toughest job in the world


Friday, 10 December


15.00-17.00 hrs


Arcades shopping centre, in front of the cinema

The report can be downloaded at:

Female farmers will share their experiences, traditional food will be served and participants will discuss how they are working to make the toughest job in the world more reasonable.


Swedish Cooperative Centre, Zambia National Farmers Union, Organic Producers and Processors Association of Zambia, Cotton Association of Zambia,Honey Council of Zambia


  1. (1) 80% of food in Zambia is produced by women
    (2) Women own or control a small percentage of the land and are given a tenth of the credit
    (3) Extension workers, usually male spend most of their time with other males
    (4) In short women farmers lack power and influence.

    Statistic (1) is simply false and does not make sense. How can women disadvantaged as (2), (3) and (4) suggest be able to produce 80% of the food in Zambia? This report is nothing more than a sensationalist story. It belongs to the dust bin.

  2. Dear MJ, thanks for your comment – but may I suggest that you read it before throwing it in to the dust bin?

    Women’s role in agriculture and food production is increasing in most parts of the world. As you know, the majority of Zambians live in rural areas and in poverty. The food that people have access to is grown by smallholder and/or subsistance farmers. The majority of them are women. Men migrate to towns in search of employment; women remain behind to feed thier children and the nation.

    What can be done to improve the status of female farmers? For starters, get your facts right.

  3. This report doesn’t make sense at all,,,i know it was meant to highlight the need for female participation in agriculture but Anna didnt get her facts right..i advice that she does a research before producing such false figures..MJ i have already thrown it into the dust bin..what are u still waiting for MJ??

  4. To say that 80% of food in consumed in Zambia is produced by women in Zambia is produced by women might be an erraneous statistic. What i would agree with is that compared to men involved in agriculture and agricultural related activities, there are more women involved than men(recent findinga in the study revealed that there were 75% of women involved in agriculture where as there were 72% of men(Chi-square tests revealed that these there was a significant diffrence. On this account, women should be allowed to participate more in decission making afterall they are contributing more than men to agriculture. So to say 80% of food is produced by women might not be true to some extent. what is true however is that women contribute more than men.

  5. Where are the women who frequent this blog. What is your take on this issue. I think men who produce food in Zambia are few, but their tonnage production is certainly 100 times that of women and men produce food for the sale or export market. I think I need to study the report in full and will comment more later , lest I make a i d i o t of myself like a lot of party cadres on this blog who are quick to attack before understanding anything.

  6. I have just finished reading the reporting and #6 stop creating the impression that party cadres don’t read, maybe in future you need to be more specific because MMD cadres on this site are the most articulate and go out of their way to look at both sides of the issue. Next time I would suggest you be more specific and say PF cadres.

    Ok, lets set the record straight on this report, as I said I have read it and it is not an academic paper or peer reviewed and so its claims cannot be taken serious by any institution be it academic or non academic.

    Secondly, the 80% claims is about Africa and not Zambia and it is a shame that educated Europeans have started behaving like illiterate Americans who think Africa is one country with one President….to be continued

  7. Uku kwine ku Launch pa Arcades, bushe kukaba na Beer? Nkesa nwako fye beer, not listening to these false statistics.

  8. continued from #7…You cannot blatantly commit the error called the Fallacy of Composition. What is true about Africa, cannot be true about Zambia. Get your facts straight.

    Thirdly, on page 8 of the report, there is a clear diclaimer “Information difficult to verify …
    . In fact the report further say that the source of this information did not have any reference and there is no mention of Zambia anywhere and why the author inserted Zambia there beats me. What is the author try to achieve or who is he trying to deceive?

    True our women work hard and produce a lot of food and there is no question about that, but when we quote numbers let us be sincere, honest and truthful. Numbers are important and numbers don’t lie, so let us not abuse numbers to stir emotions.

  9. Conclusion, am afraid I have to agree with #1 and # 4. This report is just good for the dustbin. Whoever goes for the launch just go and enjoy the free beer and drinks if there will be any, and don’t forget to throw the report in the bin on your way out. We respect the donors who partner with us in developing this country but if false facts are used, this is where we draw the line in the sand. We don’t want to build this country on lies. We have had enough of that in the past. This is a new era and the MMD government is in a hurry to develop this country and help us with real facts and not sensationalistic reports with cooked up and twisted figures.

  10. Ba MMD licker ,….. what’s the problem my man?
    ….. I quote….. ” Whoever goes for the launch just go and enjoy the free beer and drinks if there will be any, and don’t forget to throw the report in the bin on your way out ”

    Now , that’s what you call an articulate MMD cadre . And your tone is very kaponya as well!

    # 5 Rural developer..That is excellent . MMD Bootlicker should learn from you on how to be civil.

  11. How does everything become political?snap! The painful part of this whole discussion is that we probably might not get input from the women; had this been Thandiwe Banda’s photo or venture ladies on LT would have been on the topic like man’nga on feet wearing maliposa in the eighties lol. Let’s face facts we neglect our women in Zambia and time to put them on a respectable pedestal is now.

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