Imagine. You wake to a rooster crowing. It’s still dark outside, but the sun’s rays begin creeping out from behind the horizon. You take a deep breath. It’s time to get up and get to work.
Working in the fields feels like a never ending process. Day after day, you struggle to grow enough food to feed your family and have a bit extra to sell to your neighbors.
All you want is to grow enough, earn enough, provide enough. But, it’s never enough.
This is reality for many female farmers across Africa.
Women represent approximately 70% of the agricultural workforce in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, female farmers produce 20% to 30% less than men.
That’s because women have less access to resources like improved seeds, fertilizers, and farm equipment. They are toiling instead of maximizing their efforts. This needs to change.
By empowering female farmers, the World Food Programme estimates these women can feed 150 million people. Irrigation allows women to be more productive, start profitable businesses, and increase their incomes. They become stronger leaders in their families and communities.
Here are two ways we’re helping close the gender gap in farming:
Financing: Flexible financing programs like mobile layaway and rent-to-own give women a chance to save up money or pay off their pumps as they earn money from harvests.
New “Starter” Pump: The Starter Pump is a new irrigation pump we’re helping Kickstart pilot in Kenya that is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than regular irrigation pumps. The pump was designed with female farmers in mind. Go girl.
Speaking of women we admire, here's Melinda Gates talking about why poverty is sexist.
Imagine, moving from extreme poverty to the middle class by investing in just one product (an irrigation pump!). This is the reality for the 122 female farmers you have helped so far. Thank you!