Giving Compass' Take:

· Danielle Nierenberg and Emily Payne explain that if women farmers were given equal access to the needed resources, they could increase food production by up to 30 percent and help as many as 150 million people suffering from hunger.

· How can donors help increase resource availability for female farmers?

· Read about creating a more sustainable food system.

Food is as important to a culture as language. It’s a tool for communication, a source of social engagement, the foundation for many religious practices, and a platform for human expression. And understanding the culture of food means understanding women’s role in food systems across the world.

While women make up more than half of the world’s population and nearly half of its farmers, their contributions to agriculture are at best largely unnoticed and at worst almost universally ignored.

“As goes the fate of women, so goes the fate of the world,” write the authors of Nourished Planet, a new book out this month from the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition and edited by Danielle Nierenberg, president of the nonprofit Food Tank.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), if women farmers had equal access to resources—land, credit, education, extension services—these workers could increase their food production by 20 to 30 percent and lift as many as 150 million people out of hunger and food insecurity. With about 815 million people going hungry worldwide, that’s no small number.

Read the full article on women farmers by Danielle Nierenberg and Emily Payne at The New Food Economy.