Clinton Urges Sharper Focus On Women in Global Agriculture

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Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says that while it is important to respond to urgent food crises, it is imperative that the international community stay focused on the long-term goal of strengthening global agriculture to reduce hunger and malnutrition.

“The United Nations estimates that we need to increase global food production by 70 percent by the year 2050 in order to meet growing demand,” Clinton said at a September 19 forum on women and agriculture in New York.

One way of addressing that need is by investing more in women, who make up the majority of the agricultural workforce in many developing nations, Clinton said. Women are involved in every aspect of food production, from planting seeds to weeding fields to harvesting crops, but women farmers are 30 percent less productive than male farmers because they have access to fewer resources.

“These women have less fertilizer, fewer tools, poorer quality seeds, less access to training and the ownership of land,” Clinton said.

The consequence is that women farmers grow fewer crops, which means less food is available at markets and more people go hungry, Clinton said. Farmers earn less money, and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.

To read the entire article, visit: AllAfrica.com | by: Merle David Kellerhals Jr.

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