Agriculture

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In many African countries, women provide 60-80 percent of agricultural labor, producing food for their households and the market. Yet, 90 percent of agricultural credit is accessed by men and, women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land.

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Learn how Ousmane is making a difference in his family and community in Mali.

If you want to understand some of the best new ideas to chip away at global poverty, an excellent place to start is the Nasoni family hut here in the southern African nation of Malawi.

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The farm fields here are cemeteries of cornstalks: a severe drought has left them brown, withered and dead. Normally, a failed crop like that signifies starvation.

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"For one to be productive, you need to have access to resources and to markets," says Henry Swira. "And it's easier for men to have access to resources, because that's how traditionally it's been constructed, when actually it is women who do 70 per cent of the work in the field." 

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In Africa, the majority of food is grown by women, yet women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land, access only 10 percent of agricultural credit, and are routinely – systematically? – excluded from oppportunities to engage in more profitable agricultural activities and productive crop systems.

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