The agricultural sector employs 60 percent of women in Oceania, Southern Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara and 80 percent of women in Least Developed Countries. Despite women’s large role in agriculture, however, there remains a global gender gap in access to resources and agricultural productivity. As a result of this gender gap, male and female farmers in developing countries have different abilities to adapt to climate change, climate variability, and weather-related shocks.

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Africa’s population is expected to continue to grow rapidly, reaching 2 billion by 2050. In order to combat the region’s already high levels of malnutrition and meet future food demand, Africa’s agricultural production and productivity (which is low by global standards and further threatened by climate change) will need to grow significantly.

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Over the past 25 years, many developing countries have experienced rapid economic growth, which has contributed to a dramatic drop, from 37 percent to 10 percent, in the worldwide extreme poverty headcount. But that growth is now slowing, and that means trouble for the international community’s first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending poverty in all its forms by 2030.

The FAO’s monthly report on food price trends was released last week. The bulletin reports on recent food price developments over the past month at the global, regional, and country levels, with a focus on developing countries and provides early warnings for high country-level food prices that may negatively affect food security.

The latest edition of the AMIS market monitor, released on September 8, shows that the international price of wheat, maize, rice, and soybean has decreased since July. This decline has been driven by improved global crop prospects and plentiful export availabilities.

Farmers’ ability to access reliable and inclusive systems of finance is critical for agricultural growth and economic development. Proper financing enables farmers to make long-term productive investments and to overcome short-term crises.

The August FAO Food Price Index increased by 3 points (1.9 percent) from July to 165.6 points reaching a 15 month high. This increase was predominantly driven by price increases in dairy, oils and sugar, though all commodities covered except for cereals experienced an increase.

The monsoon season in Southeast Asia extends from May through September. According to a special report from the FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS), this year's monsoon season has seen above-average rains, along with a series of typhoons and tropical storms from June through early August.

The USDA’s monthly report on World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) was released on August 12.

Ownership and control of assets have become increasingly recognized for their role in reducing poverty and improving individuals’ and households’ long-term well-being. In addition, research has shown that women’s ownership and control of assets can have important development outcomes both for women themselves and for their families.