World Food Day: Investing in female farmers for a food secure future

When: October 14, 2021

Where: Online 5pm BST

Join our World Food Day event as we bring together a panel of experts to discuss gender equality and agriculture. How can we build a more food secure future?

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About this event

We will be hosting a digital panel discussion on the intersection between gender inequality and food security ahead of United Nations FAO’s World Food Day.

We know that female smallholder farmers lack the access to resources, training and finance to increase their productivity, relying on a subsidence farming method which perpetuates their poverty. The UN FAO has estimated that if women were given the same access to resources as men, there would be 100-150 million fewer hungry people in the world. So, what is preventing this positive step towards Zero Hunger?

Our panel of experts are leaders in the international development and agricultural space. Their discussion will focus on female smallholder farmers and why providing them with finance and training will lead to a more food secure future for all.

Sibi Lawson-Marriott, Regional Adviser: Climate Change, Adaption, Resilience and Gender Equality at the World Food Programme.

For the past twenty years, Sibi has been providing support to national governments and United Nations agencies in the areas of humanitarian and development action, innovative programme design and strategic partnerships. Currently, she is the Senior Regional Adviser and Team Leader for the Food Systems team of the World Food Programme’s Regional Bureau. In this capacity, she leads a team that covers issues of climate risk management, livelihood support, resilience-building, environmental sustainability and gender transformative programming in the eight countries that make up the region. She has also spent several years working in the UN headquarters in New York, managing external relations for some of WFP’s most complex and challenging portfolios, including Sudan, the DRC and Somalia.

Jack Ngoma, CEO of MicroLoan Foundation Zambia

Jack Ngoma is Chief Executive Officer of MicroLoan Foundation Zambia. He has a wealth of experience in the provision of pro-poor financial services in sub-Saharan Africa with a particular focus on women and rural areas. Under his leadership the organisation has grown into the third largest microfinance institution in Zambia and the only one focusing solely on providing financial services for women. He will share his perspective on the role and intersection between training, finance, and technology to help female farmers succeed.

Steve Mark – Chair of MicroLoan Foundation USA

Steve serves as Board Chair for MicroLoan Foundation USA, the US arm of the MicroLoan Foundation. He also is head of the Strategic Accounts team at Fidelity Charitable, the USA’s leading Donor Advised Fund. Steve is experienced in non-profit board leadership, focused on SDG goals to reduce poverty, create gender equality, and create decent work and employment. His efforts are focused on providing financial literacy training, business mentoring, and micro lending to women in sub-Saharan Africa, a large percentage of who are smallholder farmers.