Kellogg’s empowers women with new farming initiatives

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Popular food manufacturer Kellogg’s announced a partner project with NGO TechnoServe to teach sustainable farming methods to at least 3,000 of its smallholder farmers.

Kellogg’s, like most multinational manufacturers, employs thousands of farmers in various continents. Ingredients are sourced from a variety of faraway supply chains, but these methods are becoming increasingly precarious, mainly due to the effects of global warming on agriculture and economies in developing nations.

In 2014, the food manufacturer decided to expand its sustainability initiatives to more closely align with the UN’s sustainable development goals. One of these goals urges the empowerment of women and young girls in the workplace. With nearly 50 per cent of smallholder farmers around the world comprising of females, Kellogg’s hopes that a revamping of farming methods will change the role of these women, who are often restricted to the salvaging of crops, with men conducting the majority of management and logistics jobs.

“We know that in many of these societies, these women face very significant challenges.” said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer. “They lack access to training, lack access to financing and lack access to seeds that would really help them to improve their agricultural yields and livelihoods.”

The company plans to start its training initiatives with India, since it relies on more smallholder farmers there than in any other country. Over 12,000 women will receive “climate smart agriculture” training, as well as necessary tools and weather-resistant seeds.

Global warming continues to drastically alter the rate and viability of crop growth, with droughts and floods engendering the worst conditions. These changes are often unpredictable, and incredibly damaging to local economies.

Kellogg’s estimates it supports nearly 70,000 smallholder farmers. Most of them grow rice or grains for the company.

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Photo Credit: World Bank Photo Collection on Flickr.

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