Today marks the start of Feed the Future Week, a weeklong event highlighting the progress and potential for the world to end global hunger. The U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative also announced the launch of its 2019 annual report with data on its global results.
This year’s report highlights the initiative’s impact in empowering women in the international food and agriculture sector, which is key to ending global hunger. Women make up nearly half the agricultural labor force in developing countries and, while they own just one-third of small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets, that number is growing. When women are economically empowered, their success leads to more inclusive growth, better nutrition and health, increased resilience, and less hunger.
The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is one of the U.S. Government agencies contributing to Feed the Future. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, the IAF has $35.7M currently invested in smallholder agriculture, food security and natural resource management. This includes a $314,880 grant to the Association of Renewed Women of Intibuca (AMIR), an association of indigenous women farmers who own and run a fruit processing center where they produce candies, jams, preserves, and bean products.
With IAF support, AMIR has modernized its processing center, trained its members in sustainable agriculture, and established a subgrant fund to benefit approximately 400 women and their families. Overall, AMIR has increased its sales by more than 100% per year since 2015 and helped members like María Pascuala increase their food production and household income. María’s small plot of land now hosts dozens of crops, including 12 varieties of fruit trees. With the additional income from these crops, María has been able to invest in her family’s future by keeping both her son and daughter in school.
Feed the Future has helped millions of women overcome barriers to reaching their full economic potential, such as limited credit and land rights. In areas where Feed the Future worked over three years, 2.6 million more women gained access to credit, 3.3 million more women had reasonable workloads, and 3.7 million more women had greater input into productive decisions like what to plant. In the past year alone, Feed the Future helped nearly 3 million women producers use new technologies and modern farming methods, and provided professional training to over 420,000 women on nutrition. Since 2010 when Feed the Future began, 8.2 million more women are living free from hunger.
Visit www.feedthefuture.gov to learn more.