Celebrating Women Farmers – the Gatekeepers to Food Security – on International Women’s Day

By Niamh Holland-Essoh, IFOAM

Women farmers play a fundamental role in ensuring food security particularly in rural societies but lack of access to training and resources often results in yields up to 30% lower than those of male farmers. Although women are responsible for about half of the world’s food production, female nutrition indicators, across all age groups, are worse than those of their male counterparts.

Empowering women to farm organically can increase yields, provide a greater nutritional diversity of fruit and vegetables for family meals, and increase household income when surplus produce is sold. In the hands of women, increased income leads to an improvement in children’s nutritional intake and general health.

Women who farm organically are also nourishing the soil and protecting biodiversity – essential ingredients for healthy crops, healthy people and a healthy planet!

See this video of Sylvia Kuria, an organic farmer in Kenya, and the story of her farm. “I’ve got so many reports where they say, you know, your kale, your spinach, your carrots are so sweet. I tell them it’s because they are just growing in the natural way that they were supposed to have grown. We are not altering anything about the plant. It is just growing the way it is supposed to be and that is why it is that tasty.”

IFOAM – Organics International has almost a thousand members in over 120 countries. We are working toward the adoption of truly sustainable agriculture, value chains and consumption in line with the principles of organic agriculture – health, ecology, fairness and care.

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