Women are Key to Seed Sector Success in Africa
- Impact Area
According to World Bank statistics, the female share of labor in crop production across Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda is about 40%, but demographic changes are transforming the region.
Women farmers play key roles in farmer-managed seed systems, as seed custodians and crop production managers. Women are especially important in community seedbanks, which conserve crop varieties cultivated and improved by farmers. This has ramifications beyond the community level: Alliance scientist Ronnie Vernooy notes that community seedbanks can be integral parts of national conservation systems, serving as coordinating platforms that bring together farmers, plant breeders, genebank managers, and others.