Sub-Saharan African countries will promote greater involvement of women in agriculture to enhance food security, rural incomes and ecological sustainability. agric
During a forum to discuss a regional framework on gender inclusion in the agriculture sector, policymakers and gender specialists from the region said in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Monday that governments have prioritized enactment of new policies and laws to promote women’s involvement in agriculture value chains.
Principal Secretary for Planning and Devolution, Peter Mangiti, said that African states have accelerated the implementation of continental pacts to achieve gender parity in the agriculture sector.
“The 2003 Maputo Declaration on Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program roots for empowerment of women farmers to achieve food security and transform rural livelihood,” Mangiti said at the forum.
African leaders have pledged support towards policy and financing incentives that enhance women’s participation in farming. Mangiti noted that the African Union Heads of State Summit held in June 2014 endorsed a raft of strategies to boost women’s involvement in agri-business.
“There is increased political attention on the critical role of women to transform the agriculture sector in Africa. Women are the backbone of this sector,” said Mangiti, adding that both the public and private sectors in Africa have invested in female led agriculture projects that guarantee higher impacts to the society.
Sub-Saharan African countries have agreed to achieve 80 percent gender parity in agriculture and climate change interventions.
Kipyego Cheluget, Assistant Secretary General with Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), said that countries are committed to full integration of women in agriculture value chains.
“Countries have invested in programs that increase women’s visibility in agriculture and environmental sustainability. African women comprise majority of agriculture workforce and producers,” Cheluget said.
African women, however, have faced huge bottlenecks that have undermined their participation in agriculture value chains.
Cheluget regretted that African women farmers have to contend with limited access to land, capital, technology and markets.
“There is need to eliminate institutional, cultural and financial barriers that limit women’s participation in agriculture, ” said Cheluget. Enditem

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