Food Tank and GFAR to Support Youth and Women in Family Farming

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The United Nations has designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). To mark the occasion, the Food Think Tank is joining hands with the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) to address the challenges of gender gap and promote youth participation in agriculture. The goal of this partnership is to provide innovative solutions to the burgeoning global food crisis. Food Tank and GFAR will collaborate to highlight the hurdles faced by small landholders and help identify ways to support family farmers.

The partnership’s focus will be on showcasing and strengthening how businesses, governments, organizations and other stakeholders worldwide are empowering women and youth and promoting their role in agriculture. To achieve this goal, Food Tank and GFAR will publish research, weekly articles, opinion editorials, column articles, newsletters, social media campaigns, infographics, and videos.

GFAR estimates that the average age of farmers globally is around 55 years. In the U.S., about half the farmers are 55 years or older. Therefore, it is important to train, equip and support the next generation of food system leaders, which include young farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs, agronomists, extension agents and educators, researchers and scientists, and policy-makers who can build a more sustainable food system.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing nations. However, they often face gender bias and lack of access to resources, education, financial services and agricultural inputs. This gender discrimination compromises food security for families, hinders economic progress, and prevents women and girls from achieving better opportunities in education. Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank, said that many agricultural research and development programs ignore the needs and hopes of women farmers.

Improved access to education for women and youth will spur innovation on family farms, leading to an improvement in incomes and well-being for both farmers and local communities. Food Tank and GFAR will work jointly through 2014 to strengthen and transform the role of women and youth in agriculture across the world.

Source: 3BL Media

Image Credit: Flickr via CECAR