Gender equality in Agriculture

Bridging the Gender Gap in Agriculture in Africa

The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have held its Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa (GAIA) boot camp in Accra.

The Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa (GAIA) competition, according to a press release from the US embassy in Accra was launched to bridge the gender gap in agricultural research and highlight the important role gender plays in spurring economic growth.

“AWARD launched the GAIA initiative out of a realization that a gender lens has the potential to enhance the efficiency and efficacy of agribusiness on the continent. We are particularly keen that, as it grows in importance, the agribusiness sector does not exacerbate existing social inequalities, but rather remains a vehicle for inclusive agricultural growth for the continent,” Dr WanjiruKamau-Rutenberg, AWARD’s Director was quoted as saying in the release.

The 2017 round of GAIA competitions is an initiative of AWARD, funded by the African Development Bank under its African Women in Business Initiatives program implemented by the Bank through the Norwegian Trust Fund, it said.

“GAIA addresses the need for inclusive innovation systems in agricultural research and development by ensuring the visibility, commercialization and scaling up of gender-responsive agricultural innovations. The Bank’s engagement with GAIA as part of its High Five strategy includes Feed Africa, an initiative to transform Africa’s agricultural sector for enhanced and inclusive economic growth,” Dr Basil Jones, the bank’s Gender Policy and Program Coordinator was cited as saying in the release.

USAID/Ghana is a long-time partner of AWARD through Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, it added. According to the release 114 agricultural researchers, mostly women, from across Ghana have benefited from the AWARD fellowship and alumni have recently launched Ghana Women in Agricultural Research and Development (GhaWARD).

“The Gender in Agribusiness Investments for Africa competition was launched to bridge the gender gap in agricultural research and highlight the important role gender plays in spurring economic growth,” Mr Andrew Karas, USAID/Ghana Mission Director was also quoted as saying at the Accra boot camp event.

By: Pamela Boateng / Business.com.gh