; Women in Agriculture Program: North Carolina | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Women in Agriculture Program: North Carolina

Mary Mafuyai-Ekanem



Women play vital roles in agriculture, but they still face challenges and limited opportunities in competing for resources in our society. The agricultural sector is very traditional and slow to change, placing many women and their families at greater risk. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Program’s Women in Agriculture Program (WAP) empowers women access to a wider array of resources than historically available to them. The goal is to help women plan their preferred futures as they strive to overcome socioeconomic disparities in times of change. WAP targets women who are farm/ranchland owners, operators, managers, laborers, wives, marketers, retirees, with women organizations, leaders and others delivering education and technical support.

As a result of the program, more women and beginning farmers/ranchers are now becoming interested in acquiring capital, assets, finances and managing their health.
Additionally, women have enhanced their knowledge, managerial skills, gained access to resources that strengthen finances, families and communities.

WAP organized partnerships, cooperatives, liencensed businesses and increased minority property registration. Approximately 1,520 farmers increased their farm income by $2,691,582 through sound business decisions; financial practices; and new business ventures. Some farmers obtained product quality certification enabling them to meet market demands; while others modified production systems, established agro-tourism, and purchased product liability insurance coverage. Women have diversified their product and customer based by selling to restaurants, grocery stores, specialty restaurants, chain hotels, local school programs and new individual buyer. A large number used the farmers markets, operate pick your own, road side stands, ethnic and other direct markets.