About GLF Arica 2022
GLF Africa 2022: How to build an equitable, resilient food future brought together over 8,500 participants from 122 countries and featured 182 leading scientists, activists, Indigenous leaders, financiers, youth and government leaders, and 68 incredible partners to explore African solutions to the global food crisis caused by climate change, COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.
Across 31 plenaries, interactive sessions, launches, virtual tours, dialogues, performances, and a job fair, the digital conference explored ways to transform the future of food through healthy landscapes, equitable access to land, and shorter, greener value chains. Messages spread on social media rallied 26 million people around concrete ways for Africa to regain its food sovereignty.
This GLF Live brings together Patti Kristjanson, senior gender, agricultural, and forest landscapes specialist and Constance Okollet is the Chairperson for the Osukuru United Women’s Network (OWN) in the Tororo district of Eastern Uganda to discuss the role of gender in all the steps involved in the production of value chains.
Gender equity is crucial to achieving sustainable value chains
Patti Kristjanson is working with the agriculture and environment groups at the World Bank and leads gender initiatives for the Food Systems, Land Use, and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Program and The Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes (PROGREEN), two ambitious partnership programs contributing to sustainable and transformational change in global food systems.
Constance Okollet is a self-described peasant farmer and mother of seven. As the chairperson for OWN, she leads a consortium of approximately 1,200 small women’s groups working on education, community health, and nutrition. Both experts provide key messages for the achievement of greener value chains:
- The future of commodities is directly linked to the livelihoods of the women who produce them. From a coffee plant cultivated in Ethiopia to a cappuccino being served in New York, women are involved in the production of commodities, therefore decision-making and knowledge should be accessible to them so they can make their local landscapes more sustainable and resilient.
- A little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward empowering rural women. “We’re empowering our women with the knowledge of tree planting, agriculture, how to grow food … this means they’re going to have more money in their pocket than what they used to have”, adds Constance Okollet.
- Finance training is key in supporting women’s leadership. FOLUR project country projects provide training to women on cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, and coffee in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.
- Sustainable value chains require collective work. “Our women’s network is a group of farmers that join together and we work in a group, which helps better than working as individuals. It is a group for the voiceless,” says Constance Okollet.