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Women’s Leadership in Agroecology Part 3

In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th and Women’s History Month for the full month of March, we interviewed our Regional Coordinator for West Africa, Fatou Batta on the intersection of women and agroecology. Read the third and final installment of our interview below.

Groundswell: If there were more international awareness and money being funneled to support agroecology, how would it impact your work on the ground?

Fatou Batta: Studies have sufficiently demonstrated the benefits of agroecology as a production system that increases yields, diversifies production and meets the needs of a growing population. And yet agroecological approaches are still too limited to islands of success. One of the reasons is the the lack of enabling policies,and appropriate funds to support and promote them. Of course, if these constraints are reduced, the impacts will be incalculable on the life of the partner communities.

If this were to occur, I believe we would see many positive impacts where we work. Agroecological production would be the norm, and not the exception adopted by small numbers of farmers, , because most farmers would benefit from appropriate and consistent support. These producers and their families would be food secure each year, and more resilient to climate hazards.

Community natural resources regenerated through farmer managed natural regeneration of trees (FMNR) are contributing to better soil fertility, and consequently improvements in productivity, food security and nutrition.

Finally, farmers and their organizations would have strengthened capacity to have their voices heard and their priorities taken into account in local and national decision-making bodies regarding their country’s agricultural policies. Women, better equipped in terms of equitable access to the means of production, will be able to meet their needs and those of their families, and particularly the nutritional needs of their children.

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