Industrial agriculture is no solution for Africa

By Jimoh Babatunde

The lack of a policy specifically targeting women in Agriculture has been identified as a major concern for food security and nutrition in Africa.

This was the position of the participants at the recently held celebration of the commemoration of the International Day of the Rural Women under the theme: “Strengthening Rural Women’s Contribution to Sustainable Food Systems through The Continental Free Trade Area’’ organised by the African Union.

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Rising from the virtual meeting moderated by Dr Janet Edeme, the Commissioner for Agriculture Rural Development Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy(DARBE), AU, the participants said embracing gender-transformative policy for Women in Agriculture is critical to achieving accelerated agricultural growth, shared prosperity, improved livelihoods, and zero hunger.

While calling for the commitment to enhance Rural women’s access and full inclusion in agriculture and agribusiness, the participants, therefore, resolved that AUC and development Partners continuously orient policy and decision-makers to understand the important role that women play in development, and specifically in agribusiness, agricultural value chain, food security, nutrition, and care, by putting in place policies and mechanisms for the empowerment of women.

“AUC and Development Partners set up innovative financing and that AU Member States to implement women’s right to access, control, ownership and benefit from financial resources, including access to public procurement processes in agribusiness, productive assets, including land, enabling basic infrastructure, education, information and skills development, innovative technologies and practices, to capacitate and develop women’s economic empowerment in agribusiness.

“Development Partners and the AU Member States to intensify initiatives to create a conducive environment for women to conduct agribusiness and the agricultural value chain through prevention and responding to conflict on the Continent, addressing, adapting and mitigating climate change impacts, and addressing the

impact of epidemics especially the Covid 19 and natural disasters;

They also urged the AUC and Development Partners to facilitate the development of agribusiness and agricultural value chains through mechanization, technological innovation and skills development for women and accelerate the African Union Campaign “Retiring the Hoe to the Museum” a Continental Agenda to Improve Agriculture Mechanization among Women Farmers

AU Member States were also urged to reintroduce agriculture as a field of study, including agribusiness and agricultural value chain, as part of the education curriculum, just as they want AUC, Member States, development partners and the Secretariat of the African continental free trade area to ensure that the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) promotes the empowerment of women in agribusiness/agricultural value chains.

The participants added that there is a need to integrate gender-responsive indicators in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Results in Framework of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.

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