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The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011

Women in Agriculture - Closing the Gender Gap for Development

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-2011

This edition of The State of Food and Agriculture makes the “business case” for addressing gender issues in agriculture and rural employment. The agriculture sector is underperforming in many developing countries, in part because women do not have equal access to the resources and opportunities they need to be more productive. The gender gap imposes real costs on society in terms of lost agricultural output, food security and economic growth. Promoting gender equality is not only good for women; it is also good for agricultural development.

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Documenting the gender gap in agriculture

Access to productive resources such as land, modern inputs, technology, education and financial services is a critical determinant of agricultural productivity. Agriculture is important to women, but female farmers (Box 4) have less access to the productive resources and services required by agricultural producers. Women are less likely than men to own land or livestock, adopt new technologies, use credit or other financial services, or receive education or extension advice. In some cases, women do not even control the use of their own time.

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