Para acabar con las diferencias entre los sexos en la agricultura de África

SEATTLE – Actualmente, el PIB de África está creciendo más rápidamnente que el de ningún otro continente. Cuando muchos piensan en los motores que lo impulsan, se imaginan que se trata de productos básicos como el petróleo, el oro y el cacao o tal vez sectores como los de la banca y las telecomunicaciones. Yo pienso en una mujer llamada Joyce Sandir.

Joyce es una agricultora que cultiva plátanos, verduras y maíz en un pequeño terreno de la Tanzania rural. Cuando la conocí en 2012, acababa de recolectar su primera cosecha de maíz resultante de una semilla adaptada específicamente al clima de Tanzania. Incluso durante un año de mala cosecha que hizo marchitarse y morir  muchas de las verduras de Joyce, su cosecha de maíz creció vigorosamente. Sin ella, su familia habría corrido peligro de pasar hambre. En cambio, la cosecha de maíz permitió a la familia de Joyce disponer de comida suficiente y obtener ingresos suplementarios para que Joyce pagara las matrículas de la escuela de sus hijos.

Como demuestra la historia de Joyce, la agricultura es decisiva para el futuro de África. Los agricultores representan el 70 por ciento de la mano de obra de África. Son el fundamento de su economía y la clave para desencadenar su crecimiento más amplio. Las investigaciones muestran que el aumento de la productividad agrícola es la forma más eficaz de reducir la pobreza en el África subsahariana.

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