JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 8, 2021– The first cohort of women enrolled in the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Corteva Agriscience Women in Agriculture Programme embarked on their journey recently at the GIBS Illovo campus in Johannesburg. The 12-month tailor-made programme will enhance entrepreneurial, business and leadership skills for 30 women farmers, helping them run and operate their farms sustainably. The programme is managed through GIBS’ Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA).
As part of its 2030 sustainability goals, Corteva Agriscience has committed to engaging with and supporting female and smallholder farmers across the globe to help increase their productivity, incomes and sustainable farming practices, as well as to empower women in their communities.
“Women play a critical role in agriculture and have the ability to produce and make money, uplift their communities, and ensure that their employees and families have access to the education and tools they need to be successful,” said Tony Esmeraldo, Business Director of Corteva Agriscience, South Africa. “The programme is invaluable and will build a more inclusive agriculture and food system.”
The programme was born out of insights from a study conducted by Corteva that investigated women's experiences in the agricultural sector. The research further looked at the role the company could play in ensuring women's success in this sector. As a result, Corteva is collaborating with key institutions and communities around the world, focusing efforts on empowering women, enabling youth, and engaging communities in agriculture to thrive.
A study released by Corteva Agriscience on International Day of Rural Women on October 15, 2018, conducted on 4160 farmers from countries spanning over continents about importance of women in agriculture revealed women in agriculture face inequality barriers which may take up to three decades to remove.
Women in agriculture around the world, whether in developing or developed countries feel widespread gender discrimination persists and poses obstacles to their ability to feed the world. High on the list of concerns were financial stability, the welfare of their families and achieving a work life balance.
It is estimated that globally, more than half of the farmers are women and in South Africa one out of every 10 farmers actively running farms is a woman. Unfortunately, it is acknowledged that women in the agricultural sector are not equal to their male peers in terms of economic return and employment. Therefore, empowering and investing in women, specifically in rural areas, will significantly increase productivity while ultimately contributing to economic growth and job creation and help feed growing populations.
Executive Director for Social Education at GIBS, Miranda Hosking, said, “We are living in challenging times and agriculture is central to many women's livelihoods across the globe. Improvements in the way women run their farming businesses is crucial to improving global food security.”
The programme will seek to assist women farmers to develop their entrepreneurial, business and leadership skills through classroom and online interactions, customised workshops that feature modules such as leading self, developing entrepreneurial competences and thus helping participants to self-actualise and realise their full potential to operate and sustain profitable farms as small businesses.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Corteva Agriscience, it could not have come at a better time. We look forward to a fruitful journey ahead,” said Hosking.
The programme will focus on self and leadership development, entrepreneurial competencies, and managerial skills. The initiative will also support participants in finding networking opportunities with other farmers and role players through infusing practical engagements with industry specialists and stakeholders.
Founded in 2000, the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) is an internationally accredited business school, based in Johannesburg, South Africa's economic hub. As the business school for business, we focus on general management and aim to significantly improve responsible individual and organisational productivity and performance, in South Africa and in our broader African environment, through high quality business and management education. In May 2020, the annual UK Financial Times Executive Education rankings, a global benchmark for providers of executive education, once again ranked GIBS as the top South African and African business school. This is the 17th year running that GIBS has been ranked among the top business schools worldwide. As one of the leading business schools in South Africa and Africa, we inspire exceptional performance.
GIBS is accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and is a member of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA), and the Association of African Business Schools (AABS). For more information, visit www.gibs.co.za
About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019 and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.
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