FG launches agriculture gender policy to promote equal representation
The Federal Government yesterday launched, the National Gender Policy on Agriculture, with a view to drastically reducing the vulnerability of women to biases in farming, bridge gender gap, and also address the unequal gender power relation in the sector.
The policy document would, among others, promote and ensure the adoption of gender sensitive and responsive approaches such that men and women have equal access to, and control productive resources to bridge gender gap Women farmers have been faced with the challenge of competing with men in the access to technology, extension services, land, credit facilities, infrastructures education, and farm inputs like fertilisers and seeds.
But the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, during the launch Gender Policy in Abuja, said the document would provide a policy direction for the different roles of women and men in agriculture for development and gender equality in access to resources.
He added that it would also provide equal opportunities in maximising means of livelihood as well as the necessary condition for progressively realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said: “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.”
He explained that “when implemented, it will be a tool for achieving gender-based reforms, and increasing productivity by men and women along all the value chain in the sector, improve food security, reduce hunger, poverty and sustain the livelihoods of men and women who rely on agricultural value chain for common good.”
Nanono emphasized that that women make up about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population, and are responsible for carrying out 70 per cent of agricultural labour, 50 per cent of animal husbandry-related activities, and 60 per cent of food processing activities. But they have access to less than 20 per cent of available agricultural resources, which is a serious impediment to their maximising agricultural production.
In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, said the role of women in the sector cannot be overemphasized, because “women are in involved in all the processing from clearing of the farm, harvesting, and packaging of agricultural products.’’
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar, said: “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 organisations.”
Represented by the Director, Special Duties/Gender, Zubairu Abdullahi, he reiterated government’s commitment 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.”