Women and Sustainable Development in Africa

Women and Sustainable Development in Africa

Women and Sustainable Development in Africa

Women and Sustainable Development in Africa

Synopsis

Sustainable development has traditionally neglected the contributions of women until recently. Government and institutions in developing countries, as well as foreign aid agencies, are just beginning to realize the important roles filled by women as farmers, entrepreneurs, food providers, educators, and role models in developing countries and are attempting to integrate women into nongovernmental organization projects and voluntary organization programs. According to James and his contributors, women should not be just acknowledged, they must be included in the planning, construction, implementation, and operation of development schemes in Africa in order for development to be successful and widespread.

Excerpt

In today's world, it is imperative that, when agricultural projects are planned, executed, and implemented, the environmental impacts of the projects should be taken into consideration. The mechanization of agriculture and the use of chemically based fertilizers and pesticides are forcing agronomists, environmental scientists, and planners to collaborate in order to make the ecological systems more sustainable and productive.

This book is organized to bring together a number of scholars who can articulate the imperative nature of women's contribution to Africa's development. Planning for agricultural development implies that a rational planning for the environment is very crucial for sustainable development.

The impetus for this book came as a result of several discussions with my mother, Elizabeth James Inyang, who considers herself a rural farmer. Over the past eight years, I have discussed small-farmer issues with her and found that the contribution of women farmers is significant and deserves immediate and adequate attention. During several summer research travels to Nigeria, I visited many small farms managed by women. I witnessed farm duties conducted by, and had discussions with, many women farmers. I was astounded by the incredible amount of knowledge that the farmers have about their land farming techniques and crops. They are very knowledgeable about the implications of intensified and extensified agricultural practices.

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