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Levelling the Field : Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa

ACCESS TO MARKETS ADULT EDUCATION ADULT MEN ADVICE TO WOMEN AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES AGRICULTURAL ADVICE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES AGRICULTURAL GROWTH AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION NEEDS AGRICULTURAL INPUTS AGRICULTURAL KNOWLEDGE AGRICULTURAL LAND AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT AGRICULTURAL POLICIES AGRICULTURAL POLICY AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AGRICULTURAL TRAINING AGRICULTURAL YIELDS BENEFITS FOR WOMEN BURDEN OF POVERTY CAPACITY-BUILDING CASH CROPS CASH FLOW CHILD-CARE CITIZENS COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE CROP PRODUCTION CROP VARIETIES CROPS DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS DEVELOPMENT POLICIES DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS DISCRIMINATION DIVERSIFICATION DIVORCE ECONOMICS EFFECTIVE POLICIES EQUAL ACCESS EQUIPMENT EXTENSION EXTENSION AGENTS EXTENSION SERVICES EXTREME POVERTY FAMILY MEMBERS FARM ACTIVITIES FARM INCOMES FARM LABOUR FARM PRODUCTIVITY FARM SIZE FARM TECHNOLOGIES FARM WORK FARM WORKERS FARMING ACTIVITIES FARMING TECHNOLOGIES FARMLAND FARMS FEED FEMALE FARMER FEMALE FARMERS FEMALE HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS FEMALE PARTICIPATION FEMALE-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS FOOD POLICY FOOD PRODUCTION FOOD SECURITY GENDER GENDER ANALYSIS GENDER DIFFERENCES GENDER DIFFERENTIALS GENDER DISPARITIES GENDER EQUALITY GENDER GAP GENDER GAP IN EDUCATION GENDER GAPS GENDER INEQUALITIES GENDER INEQUALITY GENDER ISSUES GENDER PARITY GIRLS GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT HOUSEHOLD DUTIES HOUSEHOLD HEAD HOUSEHOLD INCOME HOUSEHOLD RESPONSIBILITIES HOUSEHOLD SIZE HOUSEHOLD WELFARE HUMAN CAPITAL HUNGER HUSBANDS INCOMES INEQUALITY INHERITANCE INSECURITY OF TENURE INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE IRRIGATION LABOUR FORCE LAND HOLDINGS LAND OWNERSHIP LAND RIGHTS LAND SIZE LAND TENURE LEVELS OF EDUCATION LEVELS OF PRODUCTIVITY LIVELIHOODS LIVESTOCK LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION LIVING STANDARDS MARKETING MIGRATION NATIONAL POVERTY NATIONAL POVERTY LINE NATIONAL POVERTY RATE NUMBER OF PEOPLE NUTRITION OLDER WOMEN OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN PESTICIDES POLICY GUIDANCE POLICY RESEARCH POPULOUS COUNTRY POVERTY LEVELS POVERTY RATE POVERTY REDUCTION PRACTITIONERS PRODUCTIVITY PROGRESS PROPORTION OF WOMEN QUALITY OF EDUCATION REGIONAL ANALYSIS REGIONAL DIFFERENCES REGIONAL POLICIES ROLE OF GENDER ROLE OF WOMEN RURAL AREAS RURAL DEVELOPMENT RURAL ECONOMIC GROWTH RURAL HOUSEHOLD RURAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME RURAL HOUSEHOLDS RURAL MEN RURAL POPULATION RURAL WOMEN SCHOOLING SECONDARY SCHOOL SECONDARY SCHOOL ENROLMENT SERVICES TO WOMEN SEX SMALLER HOUSEHOLDS SMALLHOLDER AGRICULTURE SMALLHOLDER FARMERS SOIL FERTILITY SUBSISTENCE SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TECHNICAL INFORMATION USAID WIDOWS WOMAN WOMEN FARMERS WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE WORKFORCE AFRICA GENDER POLICY GENDER INNOVATION LAB WOMEN AND AGRICULTURE
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Africa
2014-04-15T18:32:19Z | 2014-04-15T18:32:19Z | 2014-03-18

There is a growing recognition of agriculture's potential to spur growth and reduce poverty in Africa. Agriculture accounts for one-third of the continent's gross domestic product (GDP), and two-thirds of its citizens rely on the sector for their incomes. Investments in agriculture will hence not only improve productivity and the continent's ability to feed a growing population, but will also lift families out of poverty. Over 90 percent of sub-Saharan Africa's extreme poor are engaged in agriculture, and growth originating in the sector is 2-4 times more effective at directly reducing poverty than growth originating in other sectors. Yet agriculture in Africa has not fulfilled its potential, suffering from a lack of investment and insufficient attention from policy-makers. A key hindrance to agricultural development and broader growth is a wide and pervasive gender gap in agricultural productivity. Women comprise nearly half of the labor force in Africa's agriculture sector, and more than half in several countries, but on the whole they produce less per hectare than men. Existing evidence from small-scale studies across the continent documents the numerous disadvantages that women face in accessing the same resources, training, markets and opportunities as men. They also face ingrained norms and institutional barriers that further widen the gap. Tackling the barriers that hold back the productivity of female farmers could both enhance gender equality and usher in broader economic growth. The African Union has declared 2014 to be the 'year of agriculture and food security', bringing much needed attention to the sector's potential to transform the continent. This is an opportunity not only to revitalize the agriculture sector, but to rally African governments and development organizations to commit to concrete policy action to redress the inequalities within the sector, and in so doing to reap greater rewards from future investments.

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