In celebration of yesterday’s International Women’s Day 2016, we begin with a set of stories focused on women’s roles in agriculture in the face of climate change and food insecurity. A report called “Seeds of adaptation: climate change, crop diversification, and the role of women farmers” notes that “Around the world, women farmers are taking a leading role in implementing strategies aimed at crop variety conservation and diversification, with the goal of strengthening local climate change adaptation capacities.”
Meanwhile, a piece in SciDevNet (“Seed firms accused of neglecting female farmers”) says “Global seed companies are failing to meet the specific needs of female farmers and provide them with the plants they need.” The Access to seeds index report 2016 found that seed firms rarely strive to improve seeds important to female farmers – like sweet potato or peanut – in developing countries. Furthermore, the report states, only three of 17 global seed companies studied took women farmers’ input into account, which means that women farmers benefit less from advances in seed breeding and agricultural science than male farmers.
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