According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, giving women the same access to productive resources as men could increase yields on their farms by 20-30 percent and lift 100-150 million people out of hunger.
One rural woman, Martha Kanengoni, shows that this can be done – one woman at a time. Today we celebrate her as she embodies the spirit of International Rural Women’s Day and contributes to ending global hunger and rural poverty. Martha Kanengoni is no ordinary African rural woman. She and her husband, Stanley Dzingayi, have achieved remarkable farming success in Zimbabwe. On their seven-hectare farm in Gokwe, 338 kilometers from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, they have achieved yields of 7.5-tons per hectare, compared to the Sub-Saharan Africa average maize yield of less than 2-tons per hectare.
Since 2003, Martha and Stanley have grown DuPont Pioneer maize hybrids and applied improved agronomic practices. This move increased their maize yields six-fold, and they were recently named winners in DuPont Pioneer’s National Farming Competition in Zimbabwe.
Martha and Stanley are role models to other farmers in their village where they share their knowledge on improved farming technologies. During this week’s World Food Prize 2012 Borlaug Dialogue, Martha and Stanley will talk about their farming experiences and observations about access to farm management information with farmers, stakeholders and media as part of the Truth about Trade and Technology’s Global Farmer Roundtable. The Roundtable was established to extend the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug’s work that challenged the world’s farmers to collaborate – learning from each other by sharing their collective experiences, wisdom and knowledge.
Look for more posts from the World Food Prize this week!