Friday, March 8, 2013

Farmer to Farmer Tribute to International Women's Day

Greenhouse vegetable producer, El Cercado, Dominican Republic (photo credit Britt Basel)
Today, March 8, is International Women's Day! In honor of all the female volunteers and farmers with whom we work  across Latin America and the Caribbean Region, below are some photos of the talented women who collaborate with Partners of the Americas' Farmer to Farmer Program as well as some interesting statistics.
According to the FAO, women make up more than 40 percent of agricultural labor in developing countries, and in some countries, they are as much 80 percent of the agricultural work force. However, women farmers’ yields are roughly 20-30 percent less than male farmers. If gender barriers were eliminated and women farmers were able to match the yields of male farmers, global malnourishment could be reduced by 12 to 17 percent. But improved conditions for women don’t only lead to higher yields – they benefit the wider community as well.
- from the Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature Blog (EcoAgriculture Partners together with Food Tank)

In Haiti, F2F Administrative Assistant Josemine (Jojo) Pierre (second from left) leads a training workshop for women on candle-making with pure beeswax. F2F assisted around 12,000 women from late 2008 through the end of 2012.
In Guyana, F2F Volunteer Elayna Yussen worked together with female cooperative members to improve recordkeeping and accounting systems. In addition to technical agricultural skills, F2F volunteers have also trained women in various countries on the topics of leadership, labeling and marketing, organizational development, and low-cost video production.
Greenhouse vegetable producer from the Dominican Republic shares experiences with Mimi Arnstein, organic vegetable producer from Vermont. In the Dominican Republic, Farmer to Farmer focuses on assisting women greenhouse producers to supplement family income in rural areas. (photo credit: Britt Basel)
In Nicaragua, F2F Flex Volunteer Judy Hoffman shares honey with her Nicaragua counterpart. Female beekeepers who volunteer through Farmer to Farmer set a positive example for women. Beekeeping, like many other areas of agricultural production, is traditionally a male-dominated area. Beekeeping is a great income-generating activity for women with many responsibilities in rural areas. Over 30% of Partners' 2008 - 2013 F2F Program volunteers are women.

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