Happy International Women’s Day

If you ate today, thank a woman in agriculture

Every year on 8 March we celebrate International Women’s Day highlighting the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a moment to reflect on progress made and on what still needs to happen to forge a more inclusive world for women.

Invest in Women

According to the World Economic Forum, evidence shows that having a diverse group of leaders can lead to more fact-based decisions that result in higher quality outcomes. There is increasing recognition of how this is critical for financial and economic performance.  The European Institute for Gender Equality notes that improvements in gender equality would lead to an additional 10.5 million jobs in 2050, which would benefit both women and men. The agriculture sector can play a major role here. For example, the biocontrol market has doubled in size since 2016 and has the potential to grow much more.

Invest in Agriculture

From the farm to the boardroom, women are shaping the future of farming. Globally, one third of workers in agriculture are women and the OECD notes that gender inclusion can have a positive impact on ensuring food security within planetary boundaries.

According to Alessandra Moccia, Vice President of IBMA “We need to provide equal access to resources be it land and tools or education and training. This is only possible if supported by appropriate policies.”

Invest in Biocontrol

Women in biocontrol are at the forefront of innovative solutions but there is always room for more.

Agriodor, IBMA Member and start-up in France, is working on a perfume to fight pests that sugar beet growers in France are experimenting with to repel aphids, vectors of the feared virus yellows disease, which can cost them up to half their crop.  

Hear more from Ené Leppik and Fabienne Dupuy – two of the team behind this game changing biocontrol innovation in a video produced by the journalist Pierre Girard.

This is just one example of women transforming agriculture so that we can produce enough food for this and future generations within planetary boundaries.

“I am proud to be one of the many women in biocontrol.  Women play a crucial role in anchoring biocontrol solutions  in the future of farming. Policymakers now must ensure these solutions make it into the hands of farmers without delay. In closing, I have worked in many roles and countries over the past twenty years and can safely say if you ate today, thank a woman in agriculture.”

Jennifer Lewis, IBMA Executive Director