Het opheffen van sekseverschillen in de Afrikaanse landbouw

SEATLLE – Het bbp van Afrika groeit nu sneller dan dat van enig ander continent. Veel mensen denken wanneer ze aan de motoren van die groei denken aan grondstoffen en goederen als olie, goud en cacao of misschien aan industrieën zoals banken en telecommunicatie. Ik zelf denk hierbij aan een vrouw met de naam Joyce Sandir.

Joyce is een boerin die bananen, groenten en mais teelt op een klein stuk land op het platteland van Tanzania. Toen ik haar in 2012 ontmoette had ze zojuist haar eerste oogst mais uit gewas speciaal aangepast aan het klimaat van Tanzania binnengehaald. Zelfs tijdens een slecht oogstjaar dat er voor had gezorgd dat veel van Joyce’s groenten verwelkten en stierven floreerde haar maisoogst. Zonder deze had haar familie misschien het risico gelopen honger te lijden. In plaats hiervan verzekerde de maisoogst dat Joyce’s familie genoeg te eten had en zelfs genoeg extra inkomen om Joyce het schoolgeld van haar kinderen te laten betalen.

Zoals het verhaal van Joyce laat zien is landbouw cruciaal voor de toekomst van Afrika. De Afrikaanse beroepsbevolking bestaat voor 70% uit boeren. Ze zijn de basis van de economie en de sleutel tot het veroorzaken van haar bredere groei. Onderzoek wijst uit dat het vergroten van de productiviteit van de landbouw de meest effectieve manier is om armoede te verminderen in Sub-Sahara Afrika.

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