Cultural factors such as the land tenure system continue to threaten the efforts of African women in farming and other agricultural activities. Coupled with this is the difficulty in accessing credit facilities. In spite of these challenges, women in the continent have progressively made enviable strides, contributing immensely to ensuring food security and job creation.
Speaking as Chairperson of the Prize Committee at the 7th African Green Revolution Forum in Abidjan which saw the 2017’s premier African Food Prize taken by two women from among a total of 643 candidates, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said “this is a clear demonstration that women in Africa are at the forefront in terms of connecting the rising food needs and the continent’s vision for prosperity that is driven by agriculture and agri-business.”
The African woman’s general role in changing the course of his history and the human condition has long been underscored. From the many whose efforts never get covered in the media to the few whose activities have been acknowledged publicly, agriculture is undoubtedly one area in which their contribution cannot be quantified.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of agricultural production is by smallholder farmers. And the female share of the agricultural labor force is the highest in the world, according to www.farmafrica.org.
African women’s achievements in agriculture and agri-business come in various ways and at different levels. The following three women farmers are among many others who have made an impact in agriculture at different levels.