By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member
If there is going to be one issue that everyone agrees on this week it looks set to be that women are the key the success of an African Green Revolution.
Kofi Annan stated unequivocally that policies must give priority to women, who make up the majority of farmers in Africa, and throughout the afternoon this position was supported time and again.
Many delegates stressed that listening to farmers in the political process is crucial to progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future for African agriculture, and listening tofarmers means listening to women.
The gender equity issue must be at the top of the agenda, cutting across every theme. Governments, donors, farmer’s organisations, NGOs, must all properly account for women’s contribution to agriculture and ensure access to income and control over land.
But a consensus that women are the bedrock of Africa’s agriculture future is not enough. How to achieve equity of distribution will be probed in this week’s sessions, in particularly in one of tomorrow’s priority theme sessions, on equity, rights and empowerment.