A scheme to promote and ensure the adoption of gender sensitive and responsive approaches towards engendering plans and programmes, in such a way that men and women have equal access and control of productive resources and facilities to bridge gender gaps have been launched by federal government.
The initiative known as the National Gender Policy in Agriculture was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Muhammad Sabo Nanono.
According to him, the document will provide a policy direction for the different roles of women and men in agriculture for development and gender equality in access to resources as well as equal opportunities in maximizing means of livelihood and also necessary condition for progressively realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“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,” Mr Nanono said.
He noted that, “When implemented 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.”
The Minister stressed that “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.”
He informed that “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.”
“It is important to note that women make up about 50 percent of Nigeria’s population and are responsible for carrying out 70 percent of agricultural labour, 50 percent of animal husbandry related activities and 60% of food processing activities but have access to less than 20 percent 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,” he added.
In his welcome address, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Mohammed Bello Umar, represented by the Director, Special Duties/Gender, Mr Zubairu Abdullahi, said that “to achieve the task of bridging gender gap in Agriculture Sector, the Ministry, apart from pursuing and encouraging the establishment of gender friendly policies, has initiated various women friendly programmes and activities aimed at mainstreaming gender into agricultural activities in collaboration with relevant organizations.”
He pointed out that “as a Ministry, we are committed to the socio-economic empowerment of women and men in the sector. We therefore, acknowledge, acting in line with the Sustainable Development Goals declaration, that gender equality is a prerequisite for eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable human development.”
In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Mr Abdullahi Adamu, said that the role of women in the agricultural sector cannot be overemphasized because they are “involved in all the processing from clearing of the farm, harvesting and packaging of agricultural products.”
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