10 influential African women in agriculture

Aggregate data shows that women comprise about 43 percent of the agricultural labour force globally and in developing countries.
Women make essential contributions to the agricultural and rural economies in all developing countries. Their roles vary considerably between and within regions and are changing rapidly in many parts of the world, where economic and social forces are transforming the
agricultural sector. Rural women often manage complex households and pursue multiple livelihood strategies. Their activities typically include producing agricultural crops, tending animals, processing and preparing food, working for wages in agricultural or other rural
enterprises, collecting fuel and water, engaging in trade and marketing, caring for family members and maintaining their homes. Many of these activities are not defined as “economically active employment” in national accounts but they are essential to the well-
being of rural households.
Women make up almost 50 percent of the agricultural labour force in sub-Saharan Africa, an increase from about 45 percent in 1980. The averages in Africa range from just over 40 percent in Southern Africa to just over 50 percent in Eastern Africa. These sub-regional
averages have remained fairly stable since 1980, with the exception of Northern Africa, where the female share appears to have risen from 30 percent to almost 45 percent. The sub-regional data for Africa conceal wide differences between countries both in the share of female labour in agriculture and the trend.

Let us celebrate all the women and men who contribute to building and strengthening our food systems around the world…

Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security

The African agricultural landscape is changing rapidly. While the proportion of women in agriculture research is quite low, with only 1 out of 4 agricultural researchers and 1 out of 7 agriculture research leaders being women, there are women playing an influential role in shaping the growth of African agriculture. Below is my list of 10.

H.E Rhoda Peace Tumusiime

Rhoda TumusiimeHE Rhoda Peace Tumusiime is the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union. She has championed causes such as women empowerment, poverty eradication, agricultural development, strategic planning and partnership building, among others. Her portfolio as AU Commissioner covers multiple sectors ranging from crop agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry, land, water, environment, climate change, climate services, and disaster risk reduction to rural development. She has mobilized and closely worked with other pan-African institutions and development partner agencies in all those areas to secure and provide support to AU Member…

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