KARACHI: Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday said women farmers are coming under increased stress due to popular trend of urbanisation. Men are leaving farms for better jobs in the cities which is burdening women left behind in villages, he said.
Mian Shahid said that increasing number of women involved in agriculture cannot be ignored who work free or poorly paid labour to harvest crops and in post-harvest support jobs like drying and storage. Equal chances for men and women in rural areas is linked to food security but women farmers do not have the same access as men to resources like land, water and fertilizers, he added.
He said that this inequality affects the potential for food and nutrition security while better support to reach their full potential can increase food production by 25 percent as efforts are needed to increase food production by an overall 60 percent to meet global demand by 2050. Improving agriculture production requires access to land, access to knowledge, and access to markets. The system prevents women from learning how to access agriculture advice, such as improving cultivation techniques, land and water management, and pest and disease control.
Climate change and increasing demand for water will affect irrigated agriculture across the globe while men moving from rural areas to cities to look for better jobs will exacerbate the situation for women farmers who have the ability to make Pakistan more food-secure.