April 23, 2024

Ogun First Lady re-iterates the power of agriculture in transforming women

Ogun First Lady re-iterates the power of agriculture in transforming women

By Jimoh Babatunde

The first lady of Ogun State, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, has reiterated the importance of agriculture in transforming the lives of women.

Speaking at the Agritech Empowering Women in Agriculture through Technology event hosted by Adeola Azeez Community Care Foundation in collaboration with HerVest held in Ijebu Ode, Mrs BamideleAbiodun said women’s empowerment in agriculture contributes greatly to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said “Women’s empowerment in agriculture contributes greatly to Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality). Impacting women touches not only the family but the entire community at large.

“Today’s event underscores the importance of leveraging technology to find sustainable ways to grow our food, ensure food security, and protect the environment, thereby impacting even other SGDs like Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) and Goal 13 (Climate Action).

Mrs Abiodun disclosed that Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun’s administration has put various programs in place to support women in Agriculture with technology as an aid.

“Our Ogun State Economic Transformation Program (OGSTEP) under its agricultural component provides grants to over 50,000 farmers with mechanization services, extension support, needed inputs and infrastructure support such as irrigation where needed and a high quota for inclusion of women.

She added “Our State Agricultural Development Program partners with Research Institutes and the private sector to sensitise our farmers about new, proven, useful technologies and how to adopt them across the State.

“While our partnership with the German Development Corporation (GIZ) on programs such as our Tomato and Pepper Empowerment Programme for Women and Youth (TOMAPEP) as well as our Access to Agricultural Finance Programme (AgFin) have supported and trained women and women only clusters in technology adoption such as solar pumps, drip irrigation, solar dryers, greenhouse production, good agricultural practices, financial management and business development.

“We have also supported the Agritech ecosystem in Ogun to ensure the emergence of successful women-founded, women-led Agritech start-ups, one such start-up is FarmSpeak, founded by 30-year-old Adeze Ruth Akpagbula. Supported by the Ogun State Government, they operate from the Ogun Tech Hub and produce sensors for poultry farmers.

While calling for support for women in agriculture, the Ogun State First Lady noted that by embracing technology in agriculture, “we can enhance productivity, reduce waste, and mitigate the environmental impact of farming practices. This not only ensures food security for our country but also contributes to the global effort to combat climate change.

“ As we continue with today’s program, I want to congratulate the beneficiaries whose lives will be improved through this support and once again Congratulate the organizers the Adeola Azeez Community Care Foundation and HerVest, who have worked hard to ensure the success of today’s activities. May the impact of this program resonate far and wide and for years to come.

Speaking earlier at the event with the theme “Empowering Women in Agriculture Through Technology”, Mrs Adeola Azeez, founder of Adeola Azeez Community Care Foundation, emphasized the collective power of collaboration and innovation in promoting inclusivity, sustainability, and success in the agricultural industry.

She encouraged participants to embrace digital tools and precision agriculture techniques, unlocking promising opportunities for growth and development.

“I believe in one thing, when we come together, we have the power to promote inclusivity, sustainability, and success in our agriculture industry and inspire women in agriculture to thrive and overcome barriers.”

She noted with women accounting for 75 per cent of Nigeria’s farming population, AGRITECH 2024 underscores the importance of recognizing and supporting women in agriculture.

“By harnessing technology and fostering an enabling environment, the event aims to empower women farmers to thrive and contribute significantly to the country’s food security and economic prosperity.

The event culminated with a comprehensive training session, where women farmers were equipped with valuable skills and insights to leverage technology and innovation for enhanced productivity and profitability in agriculture.

Outstanding women farmers were also honoured with awards for their exemplary contributions to agriculture and their communities, inspiring others to strive for excellence.