Saturday, May 22, 2010

Women Farming

Lately, I can't get my hands on enough about sustainable farming. Was it the Deepwater Horizon disaster that sent me into this frenzy? The fact that agriculture accounts for 40% of oil use in this country? Maybe that's part of it. Yesterday I read NGO Concern's report about women marginal farmers and the disheartening statistics:

• African women carry out 90 percent of the work of processing food crops and providing household water and wood, and 80 percent of the work of food storage and transport from farm to village.
• In Southeast Asia, women provide up to 90 percent of labour for rice cultivation.
• Despite their huge contribution to food output, women “own only 1 percent of the land in developing countries, and receive only 7 percent of agricultural extension time and resources”

How screwed up is that? One positive story the report mentions is the Deccan Development Society in India that's successfully supported groups of women farmers. A video:

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