Rome, Nations must urgently address gender inequality in agriculture in Africa that are holding back development and slowing progress towards ending hunger, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said on Thursday.
“We need to better recognise and harness the fundamental contribution of women to food security and nutrition,” Graziano da Silva told a joint event with the African Union on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“For that, we must close persisting gender gaps in agriculture in Africa,” he said.
Evidence showed that when women were empowered, farms were more productive, natural resources were better managed, nutrition improved, and livelihood were more secure, he said.
“We need to put in place gender targeted programmes that address women’s specific vulnerabilities but also their key role in household nutrition and resilience,” Graziano da Silva said.
He called for better representation of women in governance mechanisms and decision-making processes as well as adequate and equal access to land, financial resources, social protection programmes, services and opportunities for women in rural areas.