The Power of Women Farmers

Mojisola Enitan Oluyeye, the Rainforest Alliance’s lead agricultural trainer in Nigeria, is on a personal mission to empower female cocoa farmers.

The number of women participating in our training programs in Ondo, Nigeria has grown significantly; in Oluyeye’s area alone, 50 new female farmers from a single community participated. More women also participated in specialized training for agricultural technicians and co-op administrators: in the final seminar of the year, women comprised one-third of the participants.

"The more women I am able to bring into sustainable production, the more able I am to help take households out of poverty and food insecurity."

Mojisola Enitan Oluyeye

Increasing the number of women in sustainable agriculture is essential to the economic health and social stability of farming communities in the Africa’s most populous country. Studies show that women who produce cocoa as a cash crop typically spend a much higher proportion of their earnings on household food needs than men do. These spending patterns demonstrate that women serve as a vital link between healthy landscapes and thriving communities.

These women are part of the hundreds of thousands of cocoa farmers around the world who have achieved Rainforest Alliance certification with the support of locally based technicians and group administrators. Since 2006, the Rainforest Alliance has been strengthening the position of these smallholder cocoa farmers by training them to conserve natural resources, secure a decent income, increase productivity and gain access to the growing global market for sustainably produced cocoa. The farmers, in turn, safeguard the health of 1.86 million acres (750,000 hectares) of land and help build a better economic foundation for future generations.

People collecting dirty river water

Around the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.