Appreciation for Women in Agriculture

International Women’s Day 2023

Dimitra Technology
5 min readMar 8, 2023

Today, women make up about 45% of the workforce in agriculture around the world. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that although females represent anywhere from 18–50% of landowners, only about 12.8% of women can carry out the role of landholder. The two roles are different: a landowner is a person who legally owns the land; a landholder is a person who effectively operates and makes a living from the land owned.

Moreover, we know that in the coffee industry alone, up to 70% of farm laborers consist of females. But with gender pay gaps, local policy limitations, and insufficient access to the latest farming technologies, many women in agriculture today remain underpaid.

United Nations Women’s effort toward economic empowerment in all sectors promotes fair productivity, income equality, and a reduction in gender-based discrimination against women in the workforce. Today, on International Women’s Day, we’re shedding light on how women in farming are making this empowerment goal a reality.

Meet Fitria: Female Coffee Farmer and Educator in Indonesia

Fitria Syahroni, a 34-year-old woman in Sumatra, Indonesia, works at the buying station of Solok Radjo Cooperative. Here, she educates local farmers on how to properly plant and harvest red cherries (coffee berries). Her husband, Endro, works in the fermentation process.

Fitria is a second-generation leader involved in the Solok Radjo Coffee Cooperative. Despite being labeled legally blind in 2016 due to complications with diabetes, Fitria’s hard work greatly benefits her community. She works every day, communicating with farmers throughout the region and making sure they have what they need to improve their farming processes year-round.

When asked about her challenges working blind, Fitria shared, “I can listen, I can touch, I can smell, and I can talk. My blindness does not limit my goals and my purpose in life. I even want to do more. I encourage people to continuously learn, to never be afraid of making mistakes.”

Fitria and Endro, Solok Radjo, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Fitria’s Impact in the Community

For instance, the impact Fitria continues to have now expands beyond her immediate location at the cooperative. She currently mentors university and vocational students on the importance of responsible farming practices in the coffee industry. She’s part of the sustainability-focused Coffee Curriculum led by our agricultural technology company, Dimitra. Together, we’re helping liaise between local leaders and educators, improving farming curriculum preparation and delivery to meet new standards.

Fitria and her husband, Endro, are two locals who are championing the Dimitra Connected Farmer platform. What’s more, with access to the latest technology, they now know how to better manage their soil, farming schedule, and everyday operations. Together, they show how the Dimitra platform helps farmers make more informed decisions regarding their end-to-end process.

Fitria sets a powerful example of how women play a vital role in today’s agricultural leadership. Especially in the coffee industry, women are a major catalyst when it comes to stepping into more responsible, future-forward practices. Next, by shrinking the gender gap across agricultural lines, AgTech solutions such as Dimitra play a critical role in advancing change.

Women’s Work and Impact on Global Agriculture

What’s more, Fitria is one example of the millions of women who have positively impacted the agriculture industry around the world. Today, the positive impact women are having in farming grows stronger every day. Although women are often excluded from regional governance and major decision-making regarding labor policies, they continue to be strong forces in leading change.

To increase the impact women have on farming, several major obstacles must be eliminated. Primarily, this includes the lack of access to:

  • Land
  • Finances
  • Market trade
  • Agricultural training and education
  • Suitable working conditions
  • Equal treatment
  • Fair wages

Before female farmers ever sow a seed, the lack of access to the above resources disadvantages them and limits their income. In fact, if women farmers had equal access as males in this vital workforce, it’s estimated that food production could increase by 30%. Like Fitria, however, women continue to show up, driven by necessity, passion, and empathy for their communities.

Furthering the representation of women in farming would benefit men and women, children and adults, leaders and future innovators. Without women, agriculture would not be the same. Throughout history, women continue to demand more inclusivity; more access to opportunities — it’s time global AgTech initiatives do the same.

Appreciation for Women in Agricultural Technology

At Dimitra, we are passionate about the role women continue to play in global agriculture. From smallholder farmers in rural countries to software developers in the U.K., our growing community of AgTech pioneers includes many notable women worth recognizing.

Currently, Dimitra Technology proudly employs 3 women in Leadership, 4 women in Sales, and 26 women in Tech, Operations, Finance & Marketing. Moreover, the women of Dimitra contribute to the company like no one else could. They are consistently furthering the company and its worldwide mission.

Both in the office and in the field, Dimitra’s women deliver invaluable professionalism, purpose-led ambition, and innovative contributions to every person and farmer we work with.

What Women of Dimitra are Saying on International Women’s Day

Here’s what some of the women on staff at Dimitra are saying in support of today:

“I think that being a woman has equipped me with the skills of being able to break down and understand messaging in different ways. It is made me more aware of how we communicate with one another and the impact this can have on each individual who cares to listen.” — Roxy Cort, Director of Digital Marketing & Social Media

“I have worked in male-dominated industries in both my past and present jobs. And by doing so, I learned to navigate and represent myself in a way that makes me proud. My past experiences and interactions consistently shape the thoughts and feelings that I voice to others today.” — Cassandra Mellen, Communications Coordinator

“My purpose is to leave the world a better place… Changing the lives of those who are under oppression. I am passionate about my work.” — Tendau A. Dhodho, Business Analyst

“When I think of equality in the workplace, two concepts come to my mind: opportunities and salary. These two concepts simply mean giving women the opportunity to learn. And second, giving them a chance to enter the workplace by giving them internships. For example, for those who come directly from universities and of course making sure that women are promoted and well paid as per their valuable contribution.” — Nicole Musimbi, Business Analyst

From the bottom of our hearts at Dimitra: Thank you to all the women who play a part in feeding the world. You make responsible farming possible for all.

To learn more about Dimitra as we continue to empower women in agriculture, visit www.dimitra.io.

--

--

Dimitra Technology

Our mission is to partner with developing nations to make agricultural technologies more accessible to farmers. https://dimitra.io