Women’s eNews Examines Recent Global Focus On Women Farmers

Women’s eNews looks at how women farmers are receiving more international recognition for their role in agriculture.

Rapid increases in food prices about three years ago forced international aid groups to “look for cheaper, more flexible sources. In a policy shift that was also aimed at helping local economies, they began turning to small farmers, who are predominantly women,” according to the article. “The pivotal moment came in 2007 when the Rome-based U.N. World Food Programme [WFP], the largest hunger-focused humanitarian organization, which feeds about 90 million people a year, switched from a model of importing food to buying locally grown whenever possible. In the process, it hoped to provide culturally-sensitive foods to the communities it assists,” Women eNews writes.

Aid organizations had been “putting the emphasis on the wrong actors and there’s been a shift to see small-scale farmers as the real farmers of the world,” said Jeannette Gurung, director of Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and National Resource Management. “And once they looked at small-scale farmers, they began to look at women,” she said. 

The article also highlights Liberia’s Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth and the work of WFP and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in that country (Harshbarger, 8/11).