It’ll Reduce Hunger By 17%, Says Akeredolu
Towards improving agricultural development, the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) have advocated the need to embrace gender friendly agric policies in the country. (smallholder women farmers)
The USAID/Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) Chief of Party, Civil Society Project, Mr. Charles Ubani, who spoke during the cluster start-up and inauguration of gender friendly agric policy development Technical Working Group (TWG) for over 100 farmers, in Akure, Ondo State, said the organisations are supporting Life And Peace Development Organisation (LAPDO) in the implementation of a project titled: “Enhancing Inclusive Agricultural Sector In Ondo State.”
The TWG representatives were drawn from the state Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs), financial institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other critical stakeholders like women farmers associations.He identified agriculture as a major aspect of any economy, stressing that women should be empowered to engage with government to promote women friendly policy in the sector.This, he revealed, had resulted into the creation of a line item-agro women initiatives in the 2018 agriculture Budget to support smallholder women farmers in the state.
“When we talk of great Nigeria, it is all about the people and not the assets. The TWG is meant to remove barriers that discourage women from agriculture and disallow the male counterpart to take undue advantages over them.”
Ubani, said the bodies would continue to work with the smallholder women farmers to enhance agricultural development, especially in the provision of land.“There are roles for people across the agricultural value chain, not just as producers, but also as processors. We will support them to get higher yields and profits instead of just labouring on the field.”
Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who was decorated as the Cluster Advocacy Change Champion, stated that the TWG would facilitate agricultural development.She lamented the significant inequalities between the male and female gender, saying the global-gender pay gap indicates that women consistently earn 24 per cent income less than men.
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Aside creating the agro-women initiative, she added that the state government had also allocated about 150,000 hectares of land to boost cocoa, oil palm and cassava production.