Investing in African Women’s Economic Resilience and Social Wellbeing across Agriculture and Rural Economy

This report explores how best to localise, diversify and professionalise the food, farming and trade sectors to build resilience and social wellbeing for African women and girls across agriculture and the wider rural economy. It seeks to: (i) explore how best to promote food sovereignty, which increases the influence and recognises the impact of women smallholder producers, food processors, traders and consumers; (ii) examine the ways in which Africa’s food and farming systems can make use of more ecologically sound and regenerative production methods through agroecology - supporting women in their efforts to prioritise local seed production, soil resilience, sustainable water use and natural pest management; (iii) assess how encouraging the cultivation of indigenous crops (and local livestock breeding) through supporting women’s efforts to share traditional innovation systems (production, cultivation, distribution) can help to enrich formal scientific knowledge and technology to create employment and grow enterprise across agriculture and the rural economy at large; and (iv) explore ways in which informal rural economies interconnect with formal economies across Malawi and Zimbabwe, representing important sources of both on and off farm employment.

Also this report forms part of an established body of FPC work. Africa Rising? Building Africa’s Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth is a programme of FPC events, research analysis and publications which seek to understand how to deliver wider structural change through the development of well integrated economic sectors, linking diverse enterprises of all sizes across local economies throughout the continent. Previous projects within the programme have been supported by the African Development Bank, Barclays, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and CDC Group (the UK’s development finance institution) and have focused on financial sector development and the role of employment-led growth to support structural transformation across Africa.

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