Millions of female African farmers are cheated
African women farmers need protection against shady land purchases, social, cultural and legal barriers.
Around the world, there are distinct roles given to women, farming is still a man’s world. Gender inequalities reflect a mix of social, cultural and legal barriers to women’s participation in the farming financial system. Africa’s vast untapped potential in funding farms for women could become a source of rural prosperity and more balanced economic growth.
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. 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.
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 Progress Panel report in March 2018, only one in five Africans has 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, smallholder farmers, and agriculture productivity at the center of national food security and nutrition strategies, with a focus on women farmers.
When women farmers have access to finance credit, savings, and 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, women farmers can get their harvests to market before they rot in the fields. Trade barriers and inadequate infrastructure are preventing women farmers from competing effectively. The African food system is under needless acute and rising pressure.