Growing Change: female empowerment through farming and social enterprise

Tuesday 2 May 2017
6.00 - 7.30PM

This event has passed


Law School Foyer, New Law School Eastern Avenue | University of Sydney


How can small scale agro-ecological methods of farming empower women, benefit the environment, and contribute to food sovereignty and security?

A Food [at] Sydney event presented with the Sydney ideas

Early in her life Chido Govera realised the importance of food to community. Mushroom farming enabled her not only to feed her family in Zimbabwe and attain independence, but to create a healthier environment through managing food waste. For many years Chido has shared her unique skills and experiences with women throughout Africa and globally as an educator and mentor.

Chido will join Sydney Ideas for a conversation with University of Sydney researcher Alana Mann to discuss how engagement in small scale agro-ecological methods of farming can empower women, benefit the environment, and contribute to food sovereignty and food security.

Chido Govera
is a farmer, campaigner, and educator who teaches mushroom cultivation to thousands of people from across the world, from her native Zimbabwe to Colombia. Govera began mushroom farming at the age of 11 having been orphaned at age 8 in Mutare, Zimbabwe. By age 16 she was using her profits from mushroom cultivation to single-handedly provide for her grandmother and send her brothers to school. Her amazing story has inspired communities in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to grow mushrooms as a sustainable means of providing food and income. She is the founder of the Future of Hope Foundation, working with young women around the world to become change agents, promote responsibility for themselves and see possibilities around them.

Series Chair: Dr Alana Mann, Department of Media and Communications
Alana Mann joined the University of Sydney in 2007 after a professional career in the media and non-profit sectors. Her teaching and research focus on how ordinary citizens get voice in policy debates regarding wicked problems such as food security and climate change. Her book Global Activism in Food Politics: Power Shift was published in 2014.

Currently, Alana is involved in cross-disciplinary research projects concerning food systems with colleagues in the Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and the Charles Perkins Centre. She is on a Faculty-wide project team exploring the crisis of ‘post-truth’ discourse, funded through the Sydney Research Excellence Initiative (SREI, 2017), and is co-CI on an Education Innovation project based in Glebe, the Social Justice Learning Lab. Her international collaborations include a comparative study of ‘land-grabbing’ with researchers in Brazil and South East Asia.

Alana regularly speaks about her research at public events such as Sydney Ideas, Raising the Bar and Outside the Square, and has been an invited speaker at events such as Food and Words. She is Chair of the SEI Food@Sydney seminar series.