Women’s participation can also bring innovative solutions to farms.
Women farmers and innovation can play an important role in strengthening the countryside across Europe. COPA-COGECA, which represents 23 million European farmers, are also typical examples of Hungarian farmers’ innovation.
The National Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) considers it important to present the innovation and technological challenges facing Hungarian farmers, as well as the answers and good practices provided to them, and supports this through several programmes. The tenders launched by COPA-COGECA, the EU-wide representative of European farmers and European agricultural cooperatives, representing 23 million farmers in the EU, add useful experience in this direction. A Hungarian female farmer also reached the finals of the Innovation Award for Women Farmers, recently announced by the organization, with many of our compatriots having succeeded in recent years. In this regard, NAK held an online forum on May 26, 2021 entitled “The Role of Innovation in Agriculture, with Special Reference to Feminist Agriculture”.
Katalin Sully, NAK’s National Vice President for Public Agricultural Affairs, noted at the forum that women are not always included in statistics as workers, managers or farm owners, yet in many cases they participate “invisibly”. He noted that even in traditional “male” animal husbandry, a number of precision and digital farming tools can already assist in these processes, and with their widespread use, an increasing number of women can participate in the sector. Primary and secondary agricultural activities can play an important role in shaping the positive vision of families living in rural areas.
As mentioned at the event, the proportion of women and female leaders in agriculture is increasing, which is also supported by the data of the Hungarian agricultural census of 2020. The activities of women on farms are significant, especially in small settlements, where they are usually involved in administrative and financial tasks, in addition to managing the family and raising Children and caring for elderly family members.
Marta Risingerny Boday, Head of the Department of Housewives of Vijer County of the Association of Hungarian Farmers’ Circles and Farmers Cooperatives (Magos) emphasized that family farming and women’s participation in it can contribute significantly to families’ livelihoods. Their organization is also active in promoting the rural way of life. As he said, climate change poses challenges on all farm sizes, with an increased focus on implementing innovative solutions, from small gardens to large specialized farms. By developing good practices, they want to create an opportunity for modernization on the broadest possible basis, while keeping the environment and health in mind.
At the forum, COPA-COGECA leaders reported that, according to their data, about 30 percent of farms in the European Union are currently run by women, and in Hungary, 28 percent of farm owners and 43.6 percent of family members work on farms. of women. They also noted that women, due to their personal care, see their role and the economy more broadly, and in many cases add other dimensions to their agricultural activities, such as agrotourism, an innovative approach to direct selling of products and a community approach. The COPA-COGECA Innovation Award for Women Producers presents such exemplary and innovative projects led by women.
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