WASHINGTON, D.C. – Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), will address women’s role in agriculture, food security and health at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 16 during the 2009 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Half of the world’s food, and between 60 and 80 percent of food crops in developing countries, are produced by women. Yet few own the land they farm or reap the rewards of their work. According to Rao Gupta, women need to be viewed not just as helpers, but “farmers in their own right and as key economic agents who contribute to local, national and global food security and to agricultural and economic growth,” she wrote in an Oct. 11 Des Moines Register column.
During the Friday symposium, Rao Gupta and other panelists are expected to address women farmers’ contributions and challenges as well as how they can help produce better quality and more widely available food.