Inaugurates Gender Steering Committee To Bridge Agric Sector Gap
The Federal Government has commenced training of 110 fertilizer inspectors to curtail adulteration of the product.
The move is in line with the enactment of the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019, designed to address the age-long sharp practices affecting farmers’ yields.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono, who disclosed this during the flag-off of a three-day National Training Workshop for Fertilizer Inspectors for the Northwest and Northeast geopolitical zones, said the training is designed to acquaint the inspectors with the relevant provisions of the Act and build their capacities.
The Minister affirmed that based on the provisions of the Act, the Inspectors can enter any fertilizer producing factory to perform their statutory function.
He maintained that the quality of food consumed depends on the quality of inputs absorbed or taken up by the plants from the soil and if such inputs are not properly checked and guided, the end products can be injurious and harmful or add no value to our health, the environment, and the entire ecosystem.
The Minister, therefore, urged stakeholders to register and obtain relevant certificates and permits from the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services since any violation or operating without a permit will be sanctioned.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, stated that the present-day agricultural practice depends on the use of critical inputs such as high-quality fertilizer, improved seedlings, and other farm implements.
Represented by the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services, Engr. Tunde Bello, the Permanent Secretary noted that the availability of high-quality fertilizer would remedy low agricultural productivity, loss of yield, and environmental damages.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has inaugurated the National Gender Steering Committee for the implementation of gender policy in the agric sector.
While inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe said the initiative would promote and ensure the adoption of gender-sensitive responsive approaches, plans, and programmes in such a way that men and women will have equal access and control of productive resources.
According to him, the availability of the policy document is expected to address the vulnerability of women to biases in the sector, integrate gender perspectives in national planning, create more jobs for women, and financial empowerment.
He, however, expressed the Ministry’s commitment to mainstreaming gender issues in the agric sector to achieve food security, eradicate poverty and hunger in Nigeria.
Umakhihe explained that the “National Gender policy in Agriculture is consistent with the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by World Leaders at the United Nations Summit in New York, the United States in September 2015 which underscores the vital role agriculture plays in Sustainable Development and its importance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eradicating poverty (SGG-1), ending hunger, achieving food Security (SDG-2), ensuring healthy lives (SDG-3) and enhancing the empowerment of All Women and Girls (SDG-5); to bridge the gender gap and enhance food security.”
In her welcome address, Director, Special Duties in the Ministry, Mrs. Fausat Lawal, said the policy document is a developmental strategy for poverty reduction and it is expected to empower small-scale holder farmers who are predominately women.
The Country Director, Action Aid, Ene Obi, lauded the ministry for deeming it fit to inaugurate the committee and ensuring that relevant stakeholders are members of the committee.