Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Almost half of the agricultural workers in sub-Saharan Africa are women

Women play a critical role in farming as well as in livestock raising and food processing. Almost half of the agricultural workers in sub-Saharan Africa are women however; African women farms are far less productive than their African male counterparts. African women are typically working on plots of two hectares or a little less than 5 acres of land to feed their families and earn a small living.



Agriculture has always played a fundamental role in the lives of people on the African continent. Whether the food is grown for household consumption or for sale women farmers contribute heavily to Africa’s agriculture. African women are typically working on plots of two hectares or a little less than 5 acres of land to feed their families and earn a small living. Around the world there are distinct roles given to women. Women are also traditionally responsible for preparing food for their families. Almost half of the agricultural workers in sub-Saharan Africa are women however; African women farms are far less productive than their African male counterparts.

Women play a critical role in farming as well as in livestock raising and food processing. Millions of female African farmers face a range of problems, including traditional attitudes of the role of women, denied access to owning land and claiming the land of a dead spouse or relative land not understanding their right under the law, access to credit and productive farm inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and farming tools and problems obtaining loans. According to Africa's Process Panel 2013, only one in five Africans have any form of account at a formal financial institution, with the poor, rural dwellers and women facing the greatest disadvantage. Such financial exclusion undermines opportunities for reducing poverty and boosting growth. The gender gap is particularly marked in Cameroon, Mauritania, Mozambique and Nigeria. Gender disparities reflect a mix of social, cultural and legal barriers to women’s participation in the financial system.


According to Africa's Process Panel 2013, when farmers access finance – credit, savings, insurance – they can insure themselves against risks such as drought, and invest more effectively in better seeds, fertilizers and pest control. With access to decent roads and storage, farmers can get their harvests to market before they rot in the fields. Trade barriers and inadequate infrastructure are preventing our farmers from competing effectively. They are being told to box with their hands tied behind their backs.

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