To celebrate this year’s Global #FertilizerDay, IFA is focusing on gender diversity and equality.
Read profiles of some of the many remarkable women who are helping to drive the fertilizer industry:
Closing the Gender Gap for Female Farmers
According to the UN, agriculture is the largest employment sector for ___ % of women in Oceania, Southern Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, and for ___ % of women in the least developed countries.
Unfortunately, women’s activities in agriculture are characterized by a global gender gap in vulnerabilities, access to resources, and productivity, with women’s ______ around 20% to 30% lower than mens’.
In 2015 alone the World Bank estimated the gender gap to cost _________ in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda combined.
Women farmers own fewer assets (land, livestock and human capital), and have ____ access to inputs (seeds, fertilizer, labour and finance) and services (training and insurance) than men.
Although women make up 60% to 80% of smallholder farmers and produce __ % of the food in Africa, only 15% possess land titles, 10% can obtain credit, and 7% have access to extension services.
In many developing countries, statutory and customary continue to restrict women’s access to land and other assets. In nearly a ____ of developing countries, laws do not guarantee the same inheritance rights for women and men and in an additional half of countries, discriminatory customary practices against women are found.
Where women hold land, their plots are generally ______ , of an inferior quality, and with less secure rights than those held by men.
In most countries, there is a _______ disparity in the percentage of female-headed households who access credit compared to their male-led counterparts. Without access to credit, women often cannot buy essential inputs, such as seeds, tools and fertilizers, or invest in irrigation and land improvements.
Farms run by female-headed households tend to have less labor available for farm work, as these households are typically smaller, and because women have unpaid ________ duties that take them away from income-generating productive activities.
Women working in agriculture also generally earn lower wages. For example, in the casual agricultural labour market in Africa, women's casual wages (whether in cash or in kind) are usually ____ of men's wages.
The vast majority of studies have found that differences in yields between men and women exist not because women are less skilled but because they have less access to inputs such as improved seeds, _______ and equipment.
With the world population expected to jump from 7.5 billion to almost _______ people by 2050, farmers will need to significantly increase food production by then to keep pace, all while facing the challenges of climate change. In order to achieve this, ensuring equality for female farmers will be crucial.
By improving crop yields, fertilizers are crucial for achieving this. The FAO has recorded women’s use of fertilizer as being significantly _____ than men’s.
Improving women’s access to inputs such as fertilizers could feed a further ________ people, according to the FAO, and help raise raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5% to 4%.
To close the agricultural gender gap we all need to join forces to support female farmers and help them get the _______ they need to reach their full potential.
Ensuring equal access to fertilizers, seeds and equipment, and knowledge on how to use them, especially for female _____________ in the developing world, is crucial.
Additionally, governments, researchers and rural _______________ need to develop specific strategies to reach female farmers and help them overcome their socio-economic challenges.
Improving transportation and infrastructure constraints and encouraging rural women's participation in farmer organisations and cooperatives can help both to achieve economies of scale in access to markets as well as reducing ________ and building confidence, leadership and security.
Women also need specialized agricultural training, child care and customized support to ease their double work load as farmers and ________ .
The right resources could help rural women ________ economic opportunities, increase productivity, and improve food security, education and healthcare, since women tend to reinvest in their households.