An unusual initiative of the Association Espace Ajoupa last Saturday 11 March created a platform for discussion of some of the issues that women farmers on Reunion face.
Through the medium of theatre, their problems, as well as other issues like violence, pollution and unfair competition were debated. Despite forming an essential part of the island’s economy, women farmers face competition from large scale farming, as well as social prejudice from male farmers. More information and a link of an interview with Murielle Lebon, proud “agricultrice”, is on http://www.ipreunion.com/photo-du-jour/reportage/2017/03/11/semaine-des-droits-des-femmes-la-manifestation-fanm-later-s-est-deroulee-ce-samedi-espace-ajoupa-quand-les-femmes-se-battent-pour-leur-terre,58811.html.
According to online figures of the Reunion Chambre of Commerce, the island has 7623 plots, worked on by 7872 farmers of whom 1269 are women. Adding family and farmhands brings Reunion’s total employment in agriculture to over 21,000. 96,5% of plots, 7358 of the plots are smaller than 20 acres (96,5%) mostly producing sugar cane (57%) and some other crops. Around 30% of Reunion’s export value comes from sugar cane production. http://www.reunion.chambagri.fr/spip.php?rubrique55