Roughly half of the world’s smallholder farmers are women, and women and girls make up 60-80% of the entire labor force in food processing and agri-food systems.
Despite this, women, and other marginalized groups, face barriers in accessing knowledge, technologies, and support services that could improve their livelihoods. This creates systemic gaps that lead to lower productivity and reduced economic benefits.
IRRI catalyzes people-centered initiatives that reduce the drudgery of farming and increase access to knowledge and services to improve marginalized farmers and laborer’s effectiveness.
We encourage local, women-centric education hubs; we advocate for crop diversification practices that expand nutrition and income sources for smallholder families; and we work with women’s groups and cooperatives to promote seed entrepreneurship and mechanization. We also collaborate with national and local partners to enhance digital access to agricultural and social services like crop insurance, enabling greater adoption by women and youth.
By developing tailored, context-specific solutions for local challenges, we create greater impact at scale.