Gender Gender

Let’s give female farmers finances – UNCTAD

THE United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has observed that time has come for women farmers in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) not only to be empowered with land and equipment but with finances as well.
Zambia is among the 34 least developed countries in Africa and currently benefitting from the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) that charts out the international community’s vision and strategy for the sustainable development of LDCs for the next decade with a strong focus on developing their productive capacities.
Speaking on the sidelines on mobilising investment in the rural agenda in least developed countries at the midterm review of the IPoA in Antalya recently, UNCTAD chief Rolf Traeger said women consist of 70 percent of the labour force in least development countries and must be financed to be empowered.
Mr Traeger said new financing mechanism must be devised to ensure women benefit.
“When we are devising the new financing mechanism, we need to have women in mind,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations representative in Turkey and central Asia Yuriko Shoji also reiterated calls for women farmers to have control over land.
Mrs Shoji said women farmers and rural agriculture have potential to enhance food security and drive out rural poverty in least developed countries.
She also pledged her organisation’s support to continue supporting rural farmers with investment.
“Quality investment is key to rural agriculture and extremely important to driving out poverty in rural areas,” Mrs Shoji said.
And International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) director global engagement knowledge and strategy Ashwani Muthoo however, observed that financial constraints are hindering least developed countries from breaking the cycle of poverty.
Mr Muthoo said about 48 least developed countries are members of IFAD and said his Organisation believes that rural transformation is critical to realising the commitments of the IPoA.
He also stressed that public private partnership is fundamental in the fight against rural poverty and must be enhanced to eradicate rural poverty.
“We need to strengthen the good policies and governance systems we committed to in the IPoA commitments that we made in 2011,” Mr Muthoo said.

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