Closing Gender Gap in Agriculture Makes Dollars and Sense

Mar 10, 2011, 09:04 ET from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Equal access to agricultural resources equals millions more fed, FAO says

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Women in rural areas have the potential to raise agricultural production to levels that would feed up to 150 million more of the world's hungry people if they had equal access to land, financial services, education and technology, according to the UN Food and Agriculture's State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11 report.

Giving women the same access as men to agricultural resources could increase production on women's farms in developing countries by 20 to 30 percent, raising total agricultural production in poorer countries by 2.5 to 4 percent. That could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 percent, or 100 to 150 million people, the report says.

An estimated 925 million people in the world were undernourished in 2010, the vast majority of them in developing countries.

What: Panel Discussion on FAO's State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11 report

Who: Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Danielle Mutone-Smith, Director of Global Trade and Agriculture Policy, Women Thrive

Kostas Stamoulis, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Marcela Villarreal, Director, Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division, FAO

Terri Raney, Editor of The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11

When: 14 March, 9:30-11:00

Where: The National Press Club, Murrow, White, & Lisagor Rooms, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2010-11 documents gender gaps in access to a wide range of agricultural resources, including land, livestock, farm labor, education, extension services, credit, fertilizers and mechanical equipment. Women in all regions generally have less access to land than men. For those developing countries for which data are available, between 3 and 20 percent of all landholders are women. The share of women in the agricultural labor force is much higher and ranges from 20 to 50 percent in developing country regions.  

To read more or download the report:

For more information, contact:

Teresa Buerkle

Media Relations, FAO Washington


202-294-6665 (cell)

SOURCE Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)