Superar o Fosso de Género na Agricultura Africana

SEATTLE – O PIB de África cresce hoje mais rapidamente do que o de qualquer outro continente. Quando muitas pessoas pensam sobre os motores impulsionadores desse crescimento, imaginam produtos como o petróleo, o ouro, e o cacau, ou talvez em indústrias como a banca e as telecomunicações. Eu penso numa mulher chamada Joyce Sandir.

Joyce é uma agricultora que cultiva bananas, vegetais e milho numa pequena parcela de terreno da Tanzânia rural. Quando a conheci em 2012, ela tinha acabado de fazer a primeira colheita de milho, cultivado a partir de uma semente especificamente adaptada para o clima da Tanzânia. Mesmo durante um mau ano agrícola que fez com que muitos dos vegetais de Joyce murchassem e morressem, a sua colheita de milho floresceu. Sem ela, a sua família poderia ter corrido o risco de passar fome. Em vez disso, a colheita de milho garantiu que a família de Joyce tivesse o suficiente para comer – e mesmo um rendimento extra para que Joyce pagasse os custos da escola dos seus filhos.

Como demonstra a história de Joyce, a agricultura é crucial para o futuro de África. Os agricultores representam 70% da força de trabalho em África. São o alicerce da sua economia, e a chave para impulsionar um maior crescimento. A pesquisa mostra que aumentar a produtividade agrícola é o modo mais eficaz de reduzir a pobreza na África subsaariana.

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