By CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA – The Executive Director of the Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Barr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi has warned that the burden of poverty and hunger in the society would persist, if the efforts of women farmers are not recognised and assisted.
Akiyode-Afolabi gave the warning at a policy dialogue to examine existing agricultural policies as it relates to women farmers promotes the linkage between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and gender inclusive agricultural sector, organised by WARDC in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in Abuja.
She said that in spite of public pronouncements by governments to eradicate poverty and hunger, the country had not been able to address it, because policy makers chose to ignore those actually practice agriculture in the country.
Akiyode-Afolabi lamented that women holder farmers have just 14 per cent of holding rights on land where they farm.
She emphasised that despite the roles of women farmers in food production, government agricultural policies hardly focus on supporting them.
WARDC boss maintained that if women had the same access to finance, land, technology as men, they could contribute significantly to achievement of the SDGs of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
“Women no doubt constitute about 50% of the population and if women efforts are not recognised in the agricultural sector, the society might not be able to address the huge burden of hunger and poverty,
“In spite of these enormous tasks, they have limited access to land, credit facilities, farm inputs, training and advice, technology and crop insurance among other things. Most importantly, they are poorly represented in agricultural sector and spaces. Thus lacking voice, representation and adequate participation,” she said.
Also speaking, the Senator representing Lagos Central Constituency and Chairman Senate Committee on Environment, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu called for inclusive policy action for women in agriculture in Nigeria.
Represented by her Special Assistant, Ms Funmi Komolafe, she insisted that Nigeria could not talk of food security, when efforts by women in agriculture are not recognised.