Women in Agriculture


 Women around the world are the guardians of food security and nutrition and a crucial force within the agricultural sector. It is a well-known fact that emergent farmers have difficulties in entering markets due to the low quality, low quantities and inconsistencies of their products and supplies. This has had a tremendous effect on satisfying the requirements of the end buyers and markets thus creating a natural barrier to entry of existing and potential markets.


African women represent 52% of the total population in agriculture, are responsible for approximately 75% of the agricultural labour force, and produce 60 to 80% of the food, yet women’s productivity is 30% lower than men’s’ because women lack access to vital inputs. Furthermore they are often excluded from the business side of agriculture and are excluded from the most profitable segments of value chains.

Their minimal access to resources such as land, credit and technology hamper their capacity to leverage agricultural production into business opportunities, has left women within the realm of subsistence. In the coming years the Agribusiness sector will navigate a rapidly shifting, and in many ways an increasingly challenging context. The sector will face increased demand for agricultural products, a decline in the availability of arable land, effects of climate change, technical advances, a decline in the traditional labor force, and as we are now seeing with the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a pivot from global to regional value chains. Navigating these complex trends will mean seizing new ways to increase the productivity and efficiency of Agribusiness value chains. One promising way to contribute to both goals is to provide gender smart solutions through platforms and networks that promote Trade and Agribusiness development.

“Women work largely on family owned land, with little or no remuneration, and the number of women with land ownership is significantly lower than those of men.” There is need to address the barriers that reduce the participation of women along the agricultural value chain, from production through to processing and trade. This is pivotal in transforming the role of women in the sector and in empowering them economically