Women comprise a large proportion of the agricultural labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa ranging from 30 to 80% according to Food and Agriculture Organisation. However, women are consistently found to be less productive than men.
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) in partnership with World Bank Group, UNEP and United Nations Development Programme carried out a study agricultural productivity in the countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.The findings of the study were launched on Monday morning at Protea Hotel in Kampala.
The report indicates that in Uganda, unconditional gender gap in agricultural productivity is at 13% and the costs of the gap equate to 2.8 percent of the current crop output or 1.6% of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which about $58m or 0.42% of the of the total country's GDP.
The report also indicates that in Uganda, 27% of the plots and 20% of all cultivated land is under sole management of women hence the remaining 73% and 80% of all cultivated land is either managed jointly by women and men or by men. The report furthermore indicates that crop production accounts for 59% of the agricultural GDP.
In Tanzania, the gender gap is at 16% whereas in Malawi gender gap in agriculture production stands at 28%.The Uganda's state minister for Agriculture Christopher Kibanzanga noted that government has been at the forefront of advocating gender equality. He is optimistic that it will address gender gaps in agricultural productivity.
"We must adopt most effective means of reducing gender gap in agricultural productivity," said Kibanzanga.He also said in Uganda, agriculture is women dominated sector, arguing that more than 80% of the food consumed in the country is produced by women.
The Kamwenge Woman MP Dorothy Azairwe said the current land act should be amended so that women can own land arguing that the current act affects women productivity"Where do you plant when you don't own land," said Azairwe
Azairwe who also doubles as the treasure noted that the government should put in place credit banks so that people acquire loans to improve on agricultural productivity."We need a credit bank that is specifically there to give loans to farmers," said Azairwe.
United Nations Environment Programme Manager-Africa, David Smith said about 77% of women in Uganda work in farming yet they are found to be less productive than men. He said, strengthening female farmer groups may allow women to not only scaling up their business but also assess markets for agricultural produce.
Ritah Katusiime, the programme officer of Council for Economic Empowerment for Women in Africa-Uganda chapter said gender gaps can be reduced by equipping women with appropriate skills and development technologies and should be done in transparent manner.
She said that the government should motivate role model female farmers as a way of motivating them.
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) in partnership with World Bank Group, UNEP and United Nations Development Programme carried out a study agricultural productivity in the countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.