Sub Saharan Africa is known as the poorest area in the world, according to recent rural poverty report. It’s estimated that about 60% of 300 million rural people on the continent live in extreme poverty.
In Africa, women play important role in agricultural production –the most important sector contributing income for African households. Recent study of ICRAF found that women are not profiting nearly as much as they could from agroforestry – farm practice enabling the growing of trees on farms.
I think this study alerts us how the effort of alleviating poverty in Africa is facing the critical situation on women’s role. Let see 5 important findings of ICRAF’s study on gender and agriculture production in Africa:
- Women in Africa are more likely to participate in agroforestry that is considered to be their domain – and usually of little commercial value
- Female-headed households account for 30% of all rural smallholder households in Malawi, half of households in Western Kenya and more than half in Zimbabwe
- Women in Africa are still disadvantaged in the agricultural sector due to cultural, sociological and economic factors. They also tend to have limited access to resources and household decision-making
- Agroforestry is directly benefiting rural women, particularly tree products for subsistence use, such as firewood, soil fertility improvement and fruits
- Replenishing soil fertility through agroforestry practices is also attractive to women farmers because it involves low inputs but high returns.
In other study, it suggests that investing more in female young education will likely prevent climate change disaster. There was relation between resilience in the face of extreme weather events and increases in female education.