In many cases, more farmers benefit from our interventions as it is an inherent part of our strategy to achieve policy changes within companies, at commodity sector level and in national legislation, and to encourage other organisations and governments to
replicate successful experiences on a much larger scale.
There is still a big gender gap when we look at the farmers we directly support through their organisations. 64% of the members of the farmers’ organisations we work with are men. In 2020, this was 62.5%. Women are hit hard by the pandemic. In East Africa for instance, many women do not own land for farming, but hire it. As a result of the limited cross-border trade due to the pandemic, most farmers had to sell their crops at lower prices than usual in 2020 on local markets that were already flooded with crops due to the closure of the tourist industry. This significantly affected farmer income, and particularly the ability of women to hire lands in 2021 to continue to produce. To tackle gender equality and equity, we started adopting our Global Gender Inclusion Strategy in the design of the new programmes in 2021.
Overall, Rikolto also pays special attention to increased participation of young people in farmer organisations governance, and to finding new job opportunities for them throughout the value chain. They are, after all, the future of our food systems. 26,290 members of the farmer organisations we work with, i.e. 25%, are younger than 35 years. In addition, in 2021, we had very specific interventions targeting 1,882 young people as entrepreneurs, versus 567 in 2020. 643 of these 1,882 aspiring young entrepreneurs are women and 977 are men.