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Maria C.
Democrat WA

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  • Supporting the Coffee Farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    by Senator Maria Cantwell

    Posted on 2015-12-03

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    CANTWELL. I thank the senior Senator from Vermont for his leadership on this issue. Last year, I travelled to sub-Saharan Africa with Senator Stabenow. In Africa, we saw firsthand that empowering women and girls as leaders in agriculture is important to promoting economic development. When we returned, we fought to make sure promoting economic opportunities for women was an important aspect of renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.



    Investing in women produces a good return on investment. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, if women had the same access to economic resources as men, this could increase agricultural productivity by 20-30 percent.

    The Congolese Government's export taxes on coffee producers have the opposite effect. It unfairly burdens women. It should be repealed before the Democratic Republic of the Congo receives any additional AGOA benefits.

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