Candace Vinke has seen a lot of the world since her journey in agriculture began eight years ago.

The Sustainable Development Director at Viresco Solutions got her start as a Research Fellow at the Peru – World AgroForestry Centre.

She spent her time there on a project specialized on the impacts of climate change on forest tree species.

Vinke, who will be attending her first Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in March, will be part of a panel of three women who have spent time working in Africa.

The conference, which will take place on March 11 and 12 at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary will feature a unique look at the situation facing women who work in the agriculture sector in Africa.

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Vinke’s speech is titled Women, Agriculture and Labour in Africa.

“The focus on my presentation will be on the livelihoods of women farmers in Africa, drawing on some of the experience that I have in Cameroon and Ethiopia specifically,” says Vinke.

She says she will be sharing pictures, videos and stories from both of those countries.

“It will be about the strength and resilience and ingenuity and skill of some of these women and what they are doing on their farms.”

She will also acknowledge some of the challenges these women face.

“Things like changing weather and climate due to climate change that’s impacted the rains, a lack of access to financial services, challenges like poor soil quality due to deforestation, land degradation from over grazing and other challenges such as that.”

“In general, I would say in many African countries agriculture is the backbone of their economy so I think in order to achieve sustainable development goals and feed 9 billion people by 2050, it will be essential to improve productivity on their land.”

Richelle Matthews from Calgary Technologies Inc., will be speaking on Lessons and Learnings from Eight Years in Africa and Tiffany Koberstein from iDE Canada will be giving a speech entitled Her Time to Grow: Women Farmers in Developing Countries.

Being her first Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference, Vinke says she is looking forward to hearing the other presentations and networking with other women in the industry.

“Events like this have the potential to help women accelerate into leadership roles for someone who is young in their career or thinking of a career in the agriculture space to see what opportunities out there.”

She adds it could also provide hope that there are opportunities and potential to grow a career in this space.

For more information and to register for the Advancing Women in Agriculture conference click here.

Rural Roots Canada is a proud sponsor of the Advancing Women Conference.