By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Federal Government at the weekend disclosed that women farmers in the country will benefit from the N10 billion agriculture fund to unlock food potentials and enhance food security.
This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari during launch of Women in Agriculture Environment Impact Fund, WAEIF, in Abuja, where he said the fund will also greatly improve household welfare especially nutrition, health and education that will be a leverage to better standard of living of every household.
Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, noted the challenges in the sector negatively affected women in agriculture, which include insecurity, gas flaring, desert encroachment, environmental pollution, oil spillage, flood herdsmen/farmers’ clash, communal clash environmental impact have contributed largely to food scarcity in Nigeria.
According to the President while commending the effort of organisers of the fund raising said the fund would add value to what women are doing in food production, create employment and will generate useful ideas to boost the sector.
He also added that the private sector has been the ‘engine room’ of the nation’s food production and agricultural development by working hard to tackle the limited food production and quality standard in collaboration with the government for better service delivery to Nigerians.
He said government has been working hard to attract food manufacturing companies to the mapped out Staple Crops Processing Zones, SCPZs, which are densely populated by women farmers.
He also maintained that government will ensure provision of basic infrastructure at the SCPZs to address challenges of post-harvest losses, food processing and value addition with provision of electricity, potable water supply, road network for high production of food, easy transportation of raw materials and finished products from the zones, which in turn will stimulate rural economy and reduce unemployment and rural-urban migration.