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.