Gender Equality, Sustainable Agricultural Development, and Food Security

Authored by: Agnes A. Babugura

Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415707749
eBook ISBN: 9781315886572
Adobe ISBN:


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Gender equality, sustainable agricultural development, and food security are interconnected and critically important to sustainable development. Agriculture is a major sector in many developing countries with potential to influence food security, economic growth, and human development (FAO 2011). In spite of its potential, the sector is also known to have significant impacts on the natural resource base on which farming systems depend. It is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – responsible for about 17 per cent of global greenhouse emissions – and a major driver of both deforestation and land-use change. Given its dependency on the earth’s climate, the agricultural sector is significantly vulnerable to the threats of climate change, affecting, for example, crop and livestock production. Such impacts, already evident in several regions of the world, often result in decreased crop production, high food prices, negative consequences on livelihoods, increased malnourishment, and reduced supply and availability of animal protein (FAO 2009; Lobell and Field 2011; Skoufias et al. 2011). Ultimately the consequences manifest in a food crisis that plunges many people into deeper poverty, threatening national security and economic growth (Conforti 2011).

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