as women set to boost food production, security

…ActionAid calls for implementation of policy

By Gabriel Ewepu


HARVEST: Women with baskets of tomatoes harvested from farmlands provided under the Restoring Agricultural Assets of IDPs, Returnees and Vulnerable Host Families in NorthEast Nigeria project, 

ABUJA- THE Federal Government, Thursday, launched the much awaited National Gender Policy in Agriculture, NGPA, to give women farmers across the country access to more farm input and participation in the agricultural sector.

The launch was done by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, which women farmers in their great numbers across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, converged on Abuja to be part of the historic event.

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Nanono who acknowledged effort of his predecessor, directors and CSOs in synergizing to formulate the policy said that the document would provide a policy direction for women and men in the sector, hence to promote gender equality in accessing farm inputs including equal opportunities in maximizing means of livelihood that would facilitate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said: “The  National Gender Policy in Agriculture  is hinged on the National Gender Policy (2006) and its Strategic Implementation Framework (2008) as developed by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

“The National Gender Policy in Agriculture is expected to drastically reduce the vulnerability of women to biases in agriculture, address the unequal gender power relation and bridge gender gap.

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“It is important to note that women make up about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population and are responsible for carrying out 70 per cent of agricultural labour, 50 per cent of animal husbandry related activities and 60 per cent of food processing activities but have access to less than 20 per cent of available agricultural resources which is a serious impediment to their maximizing agricultural production and that is why the launch of this policy document is apt.

“When the document is implemented it will be a tool for achieving gender-based reforms and increasing productivity by men and women along all the value chains in the sector improves food security ,reduces hunger, poverty and sustain the livelihoods of men and women who rely on agricultural value chains for common good.

“This event no doubt, is a unique platform aimed at contributing to the attainment of the on- going agricultural reforms and development agenda of the present administration.”

Also speaking was the Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture who also doubled as Chairman of the launch, Sen Abdullahi Adamu, acknowledged that the role of women in the agricultural sector cannot be overemphasized, because they have been the set of citizens feeding the nation over the years, hence should be supported and empowered.

“Women are in involved in all the processing from clearing of the farm, harvesting and packaging of agricultural products”, Adamu said.

Meanwhile, the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, called on the state governments to implement the policy for sustainability and also create access for women farmers to farm inputs.

“The National Gender Policy in Agriculture is an instrument for us to forge ahead and work with women in agriculture and I think this is very remarkable.

“Actionaid has worked with the team from beginning of the process to now, and you can see that we have brought the women farmers from all the states of the federation including FCT to ensure that implementation we are not only worried about the bringing the policy on board but that implementation is very key. For us it is a landmark achievement for Nigerian women farmers.

“For us implementation has started here because it has been launched and they are taking this document to the states they are coming from and it is not about we waiting because the citizens are not waiting.

“We are bringing on board citizens and CSOs at the level of state implementation to make sure that they hold the state accountable because it is not just launching it here because what are we going to do with it, who are the extension workers”, Obi stated.

“We are happy that the Minister himself came and launch it himself, and so we are holding everybody accountable to ensuring that implements meant for the women farmers go to them and for those at the different levels are also to access government. The desk officers are here so we want to see how they connect immediately so implementation can kick-start”, she added.



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