Stakeholders call for gender inclusive agriculture policies

AGRICULTURE stakeholders are pushing for more gender inclusive agriculture policies as the 2023 AGRF is ongoing in Dar es Salaam.

At the side-line event dubbed ‘Gender-Responsive Policies, Programs, and Innovative Partnerships’ which was organised   by the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) on Monday, Ms Dina Esposito, USAID’s Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS), said: “when women in agriculture succeed, we all succeed.”

Ms Esposito said for instance, in low- and middle-income countries, female-managed farms are on average 24 percent less productive than those of their male counterparts – a number that has essentially remained unchanged for ten years.

“Policies and regulations can help or hurt progress for women. They can, for example, open opportunities for women to own land or, perversely, undermine their rights. They can promote women’s access to finance or, perversely, create barriers to accessing bank accounts, digital technologies and collateral. These gender-discriminatory gaps in policies and in policy implementation need to be dismantled. And women have an important role to play in this task,” she argued.

On her part, Ms Dorine Odongo, Award’s Communications Manager, underscored the urgency to intensify efforts towards achieving gender equality in agriculture and food systems.

Ms Odongo stressed that women must have a more prominent presence at policy-making levels within the agricultural sector.

“To create gender-responsive policies and programs, it is crucial to include women’s perspectives and experiences in decision-making processes,” she stated.

She argued that Sustainable Development: Gender-responsive policies and programs are integral to achieving sustainable agricultural development in Africa.

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