By Victoria Onehi
Women coalition group, under the Development Research and Projects Centre (RPC), have called for more investment in agriculture, climate change and gender to accelerate national growth and development.
The National Coordinator of the group and President of the Association of Women in Agriculture, Mrs Ruth Agbor disclosed this during the maiden edition of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture forum organised with the support of the development Research and projects centre to scale up and ensure optimal implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture towards enhanced Food and Nutrition Security.
‘’ This forum is organised to also ramp up support as a Community of Practice for the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture, enhance conversations and collaborative actions among key stakeholders from the Government, Academic and Research Institutions, Civil Society Organisations, Development Partners, Private Sector, Farmers Associations, and the Media towards the successful implementation of the Policy and promotion of Food Security across the country.’’ She added.
Mrs Agbor also explained that the annual forum would continue to provide a strategic platform for stakeholders to learn and share best practices and discuss how to leverage the National Gender Policy in Agriculture to strengthen their interventions across Nigeria.
‘ This forum will continue to serve as a support ramped up as a Community of Practice for the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture, conversations and collaborative actions enhanced among key stakeholders from the Government, Academic and Research Institutions, Civil Society Organisations, Development Partners, Private Sector, Farmers Associations, and the Media towards the successful implementation of the Policy and promotion of Food Security across the country.’’ She said.
While describing the forum as one of the first and the most significant forums that will provide a guide for stakeholders in the agriculture and climate change sector, she commended the development Research and Projects Centre and the National Steering Committee on Gender in Agriculture for collaborating with the federal ministry of agriculture and other partners to organise this maiden edition of the forum.
Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari , represented by Mrs Oluwatoyin Alade, Director of the Human Resources department, assured Nigerians that the federal government will continue to invest in food security and climate change, especially towards improving gender participation.
‘’ Our mission aligns with the national gender policy on agriculture as part of President Bola Tinubu’s agenda on bridging gender gaps to enhance food security’’ She said
The Minster also announced the setting of the commodity board in Nigeria to assist enhance food security and to ensure that Nigeria is free from dnagers of famine and food insecurity.
Some of the 11-point agenda highlighted in the National Gender Policy on Agriculture which was presented by the Deputy Director and Head Gender Desk at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Mrs Ifeaoma Anyanwu, are as follows:
“Mainstream Gender into Extension Delivery,mainstream Gender into Climate Change, Institutionalise Gender Responsive Budgeting and Generate Sex disaggregated data for evidence-based planning and implementation.
Others are to improve cultural practices that hinder women from access to input land, finance and fertiliser,train Women and Youth in Commercial Agriculture through Processing value chain development and link women and youth cooperatives and people with disabilities/special needs to financial institutions (financial inclusion).
The Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture who was represented by Senator Natasha Akpoti- Uduaghan said the legislative arm of government will work assiduously with the executives to ensure that the National Gender policy on Agriculture is implemented.
She emphasised the need for women entrepreneurs who are farmers to be assisted to get access to funds, farm inputs, trainings and markets to enable them to thrive in their endeavours.