Female Farmers Care More About Climate Change

Researcher Thi Mui Nguyen

New research from Victoria University of Wellington has found that farming women are more concerned about the climate resilience of their farms than their male counterparts.

The study looked at Kiwi farmers’ perceptions of future droughts and climate change, and how that influenced the way they tackled climate-related issues on their farms. The study found farming women were more concerned about droughts than male farmers. They were also more focused on increasing climate resilience on farms and used water more efficiently.

Researcher Thi Mui Nguyen said traditionally, women cared more about how food and nutrition affected their families than men. That doesn’t mean that male farmers don’t care.

The study found male farmers who owned or leased bigger farms tended to focus on climate challenges more than others and (perhaps surprisingly) older farmers focused their efforts on greenhouse gas emission reduction more than younger farmers.

Farmers who were concerned about an increased risk of drought by 2050 focused more on reducing greenhouse gas emissions on their farms than farmers who did not believe there was increased risk.