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New technologies and innovation critical to support women in Agriculture / Close to 100 exhibitors share technologies and innovation on Agriculture

By UNITED NATIONS
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NAIROBI, Kenya, October 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UN Women with the African Union (AU), IFAD, FAO and WFP are co-hosting an exciting regional Sharefair for Rural Women's Technologies on October 15-17 at the UN Compound in Gigiri.

The first of its kind, this showcase stemmed from a need to simultaneously address the successes, the innovations and yet the continued constraints faced by African women farmers, particularly in the Eastern and Southern African region. The Sharefair, will bring almost 100 exhibitors to showcase their agricultural innovations.

The three day exhibition will run over International Day of Rural Women and World Food Day and aims to highlight the opportunities in investing in technologies for rural women. While women are central in all aspects of agriculture and off-farm activities in the communities, their efforts are often hampered by their lack of access to productive resources, technologies, services and markets.

“This Sharefair is testament of the transformative power of agricultural technologies. Importantly, it underlines the huge potential to be realized from bringing women, who are the vanguard of rural economies across Africa, on board,” said Ms Christine Musisi, UN Women Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

Running concurrently to the exhibitions will be high-level policy discussions and panels with regional and national government officials and other sector leaders. These will highlight efforts on gender-sensitive agricultural and nutrition policies; identify promising technologies, and address the constraints to scaling up innovations. Simultaneous, hands-on, practical workshops will be held by successful women and other agriculture sector leaders.

Ms Musisi also urges governments, financial institutions and communities in the Eastern and Southern Africa region to prioritize support through policies, funding and programming for female farmers;

“Women are untapped resources of agriculture in East and Southern African. This 2014 Sharefair acknowledges this, but also digs deeply into the mind and hearts of those who can physically, financially and politically take these ready resources to a prosperous future,” she said.