BETTER POLICIES NEEDED

Women lag behind in agribusiness, FAO data shows

Experts say there is a need to build the capacity of women traders so that they can access the bigger market

In Summary

• Machakos Women Representative Joyce Kamene said better policies should be formulated boost the role of women in agribusiness.

• The policies will help address exploitation by brokers who raise prices hence affecting women's businesses, she said. 

Women account for 40 per cent of the farm labour force in Africa and produce 70 per cent of food but their role in agribusiness is still limited according to data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Machakos Women Representative Joyce Kamene said better policies should be formulated boost the role of women in agribusiness.

The policies will help address exploitation by brokers who raise prices hence affecting women's businesses, she said. 

Kamene spoke at the 8th African Grain Trade Summit held between October 3 and 4 in Mombasa. 

“We do not want brokers because they deny farmers profits from their labour,” she said.

African Women Agribusiness Network executive director Beatrice Gakuba said there is a need to build the capacity of women traders so that they can access the bigger market.

“At AWAN-Africa, we noticed that even though women were in every stage of the agricultural value chain, those in agribusiness lack access to market information or where to get the right buyers for the produce,” Gakuba said.

Gakuba said that they aim to prepare women in the next five years on the available markets and the business.

“We have youths under 30 doing agribusiness which is a big move for job creation,” she said.

She said that embracing technology as a way to improve markets through innovation.

“We are encouraging young people entering the agricultural sector that it has to be technology-driven,” Gakuba said.