Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Women in Ag

Women farmers in Himachal Pradesh. photo credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT
Another year gone by, another International Women's Day has arrived. Last year was the 100th anniversary of the day, celebrating women in agriculture. I focused primarily on the women that make up a great percent of the farmers in the developing world. This year, I thought we would turn our attention to ladies in agriculture in the United States.

As of 2010, only about 10% of primary farm operators and around 30% of all operators are female. This is vastly different from the Sub-Saharan African smallholder farmers, of which up to 80% are women. However, much like in the developing world, women farmers operate primarily on small plots, and tend run a net deficit of farm income.

The 300,000 women farmers in the U.S., though, represent one of the fastest growing demographic of farmers. Another NPR story documents a young woman farmer breaking into the industry. It notes that women farmers are more likely grow vegetables and livestock than their male counterparts, rather than row crops of maize and soy. Furthermore, 22% of organic farmers are women.

Looks like one more way in which women are leading the way (or at least making their way)!

No comments: