For women farmers, by women farmers: Facilitating timely access to quality inputs and services through women farmer service centers

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The gender gap in access to inputs has affected productivity in agriculture for the longest time and has proven to be a formidable barrier for women farmers. Supporting them through such measures will go a long way in accelerating gender equality in agriculture and contribute to food and nutrition security.

Through women-led farmer-producer companies, women farmers can overcome traditional gender-based barriers that prevent them from acquiring agricultural inputs, information, and technologies. (Photo: IRRI India).

“We have been cultivating paddy for over ten years, but they [male farmers] rarely care about our preferences in farming, whether it is the variety of paddy or the marketing of our produce,” said Bhumisuta Pradhan, a paddy seed farmer and member of Loisingha Women Farmers Services Producer Company Limited (LWFSPCL).

This is a common trend across most developing countries and, even though agriculture is feminizing, gender gaps in access to inputs, information, technologies, and markets persist.

“Leaving our villages and getting seeds and other inputs from the government offices or markets was very difficult for us,” Mrs. Pradhan added. “We always have housework to do and no time to go and buy these materials.”

Moreover, she elaborated that they did not know anything about seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and the tools and techniques that could improve their crop output until they joined the women farmer-producer company.re and contribute to food and nutrition security.

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