Women play an important role in all aspects of the society and industry, focusing on agriculture however, women across the world and in Africa do about 70% of the work in agriculture. Research has however found that yields on farms run by women are approximately 20 to 40 percent lower than yields on farms run by men, and therefore, “gender aware” programs that specifically seek to increase the work of women on farms are vital.
Before breaking down the magnitude of work women are involved in the food production process let’s mention the agriculture value chain. Value chains are described by the World Bank as a “full range of value-adding activities required to bring a product or a service through the different phases of production, including procurement of raw materials and other inputs”. Hence, for a produce to reach the consumer a wide range of activities are involved. An agricultural value chain might include input supply, farmer organization, farm production, post-harvest handling, processing, provision of technologies, production and handling, storage, transport, finance and feeback from markets. Women are spread across and are involved in numerous activities along the agriculture value chain.
Manchie is a rural farming community in the Ga West Municipal Assembly, the women in the community are super heroes involved in the Cassava value chain. Through their income generating ventures gained from cassava cultivation, which they process into Gari and other cassava products, they have facilitated the construction of schools and the provision of potable water for the community. These women are valuable to the food production and cassava value chain because their processing activities also reduces food wastage. The work being done by the women at Manchie affirms evidence that empowering women farmers and workers, economically and politically can have a multiplicity of positive impacts across levels of social and economic organizations.
In December 2018, Nocofio collaborated with the Manchie Women’s Cassava Processing Group and provided a capacity building workshop on Developing Goals for Agribusiness and Bookkeeping for the women in the group. At Nocofio, we believe that empowered women in the agriculture value chain can increase their income, develop a stable livelihood and contribute to ensuring food security. Also, true empowerment of women should move beyond livelihoods to wealth creation and business leadership in agriculture.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the women in agriculture, from production, agritech solutions, processing to consumption. You are our Heroes!
“Connecting Finance With Farmers”