The Nigerian federal government with the mission to achieve food security and reduce poverty in Nigeria launched the ‘National Female Farmers Policy on Agriculture’ in Abuja.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, made it clear it was about time women become resourceful in the agricultural sector.
Mr. Nanono said the policy was to enhance the equality of access to resources for both genders as well as provide equal opportunities of livelihood while progressively realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The goal of the gender policy is to ensure equal opportunities and access to resources, services, and agricultural programmes in Nigeria regardless of gender as a means of providing economic security growth in Nigeria,
“It is important to note that women makeup about 50 percent of Nigeria’s population and are responsible for carrying out 70 percent of agricultural labor, 50 percent of animal husbandry related activities and 60 percent of food processing activities but have access to less than 20 percent of available agricultural resources which is a serious impediment to them,” he said.
According to premium times, Mr. Nanono further complained about the reluctant attitude of women towards education and research in Nigeria.
“Women possess the characteristics of researchers but they are few in research institutions,” he said. “How do women educate the children they gave birth to?”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu, advised women to stand up and face their challenges. “You must stand up and seize the opportunity. Sometimes, women do not even respond to their event,” he said.
In 2015, PREMIUM TIMES reported how the African Development Bank said women contribute close to 70 percent of the agricultural work-force.
While in the press conference, a female farmer, Veronica Balogun, appealed to the government to implement the gender policy rather than the “usual paperwork”.
She said if followed, the outcome will be beneficial to the economic growth of Nigeria.
“As a farmer, this is what I need to increase the output from my farm. They should not allow the programme to go like that,” she said.
Another farmer, Alice James, said this (policy) will help in caring for the farmers
She said, “when the policies are implemented, life will be easier for women farmers in Nigeria”.
Also, Agnes Omolele appreciated the efforts of the government by providing policies that will transform the agricultural sector.
She also expressed fear “the policy will not last for a long time in Nigeria”.
“We are grateful for this policy but we hope it will continue,” she said.