Women in Food and Agriculture – highlights from 2022 summit – Farmers Weekly

The annual Women in Food and Agriculture (WFA) summit was held on 13 June, welcoming greater than 300 ladies, and a handful of males, to Frankfurt, Germany.

In what was a welcome return after final 12 months’s occasion was pressured on-line due to Covid, the 2-day occasion noticed delegates travelling from as far afield as Kenya, Brazil and the US, becoming a member of many European attendees, together with from the UK.

See additionally: ‘We should allow ladies to play a wider position in farming’

Established to advertise inclusion and variety in the agricultural sector and to deal with problems with gender inequality, the WFA occasion noticed greater than 30 audio system debating points dealing with the broader sector, from soil well being and sustainability to meals insecurity and psychological well being.

Below are highlights from three of the highest audio system.

The position and place of girls in agriculture is altering in Ukraine

Many nations, and certainly shoppers, have felt the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As the breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine sells to greater than 180 nations, with figures from 2021 displaying exports of greater than 25m tonnes of maize and 20m tonnes of wheat. It can be a key producer of sunflower oil.

As the struggle wages and conventional export routes via the Black Sea are blocked, meals safety is more and more at stake, as farmers battle with the large transport challenges.

Media protection has largely centered on the political and financial results of the battle, and has tended to miss the large social metamorphosis going down on farms throughout the nation.

Iryna Tytarchuk, the chief director of the Ukraine Investment and Trade Facilitation Centre, instructed the summit: “Women make up virtually 30% of farmers and small to medium agricultural producers.

“We have very courageous ladies in Ukraine, a lot of whom have husbands who’ve joined the military.

“Women are reworking and taking over many roles – as mums, as wives, as businesswomen, and as farmers. They are leaders supporting the army and are volunteers fixing humanitarian issues.”

Ms Tytarchuk based the Help Women Agro in Ukraine initiative and is giving ongoing assist, offering funding to revive broken amenities and giving disaster administration recommendation.

Could the Church of England and National Trust present alternatives for brand new entrants?

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, generally known as the Black Farmer and with a model of the identical identify, had a transparent message for the summit: farming should embrace variety and inclusion and do extra to encourage new entrants.

Calling on the likes of the Church of England and the National Trust to play their half, he stated the establishments must be doing extra to encourage new starters in the business.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones © Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

“If they allocate a small share of their land to newcomers, to provide them a break and to assist them get began, I consider it would encourage new blood, which is able to deliver concerning the change that we’d like in our business,” he stated.

On a lighter observe, Mr Emmanuel-Jones stated he wish to see farming “get sexed up”, in order to interrupt the narrative that it’s an unattractive business.

“As farmers, we’re important to our existence – the 2 most necessary issues in our lives are sleep and meals,” he stated.

Do we have to go one step additional than internet zero?

Shedding some mild on sustainable farming strategies, and flying the flag for ladies in STEM (science, know-how, engineering and arithmetic) topics, PhD scientist and analysis undertaking supervisor Laurann Byrne believes know-how is the answer to creating farming “internet constructive”.

It is a time period that was coined by Dutch writer Paul Polman, and builds on the idea that sustainability – that’s, to maintain or stay fixed – shouldn’t be sufficient to fight the local weather disaster, and that as an alternative agriculture must be extra reparative and restorative.

Ms Byrne stated: “We see loads of vilification of livestock farmers [concerning emissions], so applied sciences that may have a constructive influence are extraordinarily necessary.”

For beef and dairy cows, carbon footprint could be improved by feeding animals in probably the most environment friendly method doable.

“This might be through the use of feed utilisation enzymes that break down the feed, or hint minerals which can be extra bio-accessible, and even enhancers that have an effect on micro organism in the intestine,” stated Ms Byrne, who specialises in dietary science for worldwide animal diet firm Alltech.

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