It is time to revisit Climate Smart Agriculture. I wrote about it a while ago, praising its goals and reaffirming the need for it and its principles as goals we have had for quite some time. I didn’t love the name, but it’s growing on me. Since then, I have seen more and more reports on it, and understand the distinction between “Climate Smart” and “sustainable” agriculture. I have specially noticed the initiatives engaging women in Climate Smart Agriculture, and will be participating in an online workshop “Gender and Climate Smart Agriculture” from January 30- mid February, organized by FAO.
Why women? Because climate change threatens to affect women more severely than men across the board in the developing world, where females make up 43% of the agricultural labor force (FAOSTAT). Women have less access to credit, education, and land, all of which can help farmers adapt to the changing climate. If women are not given the same opportunity to adapt, we will be in big trouble.
A few things become clear from their figures. First, women play an imperative role in agriculture in the developing world, where food security is an increasingly more serious concern. Second, women do not have access to the same resources as men, and this needs to change if we want communities to become more resilient and knowledgeable. And finally, when given the opportunity and the resources, rural women can have a huge positive impact on the future of their communities by investing in the wellbeing of children:
So let’s invest in agriculture education and opportunities for all, keeping in mind the need to improve the access women have to a food-secure, knowledge, asset, and equality rich future. I look forward to the learning event, and am eager to share what I learn in the weeks to come!