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Report on women farmers

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Many businesses are unaware of the crucial role women play in supplying the ingredients they depend on for their products, as this contribution is often unrecognised, unpaid and invisible, says a new report Empowering Women Farmers in Agricultural Value Chains launched by Twin at a joint food industry event hosted by the ethical trade organisation and the Fairtrade Foundation.

The report analyses the results of interviews with 14 producer groups in Ghana, India, Malawi, Nicaragua, Peru and Rwanda. The findings show that despite women being active at all stages of agricultural production, in many cases providing the majority of the labour, women continue to face a glass ceiling when it comes to transporting crops to market and completing the sale. These tasks are almost universally done by men, who subsequently retain much of the control over household income.

In the commodities looked at, women are largely responsible for shelling and grading nuts, fermenting and drying coffee and fermenting cocoa. These are crucial parts of the production process that influence quality, taste and even food safety. Women carry out this critical work on top of household labour, which is seen as ‘women’s work’. Women also face additional barriers to men regarding land ownership, which affects access to credit and can disqualify them from joining producer organisations. As a result, women are underrepresented in the membership of such organisations and at all levels of their governance. The combination of restricted labour, income and ownership rights can leave women with little control over decision-making in the home and within producer organisations. In the report, recommendations are given to strenghten the role of women farmers.

Fairtrade Foundation





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