The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh, expressed the commendation while launching the National Gender Action Plan (NGAP) for agriculture to build capacities of Nigerian women.
The minister said that the objectives of the National Gender Action plan was to build the capacities of women farmers to transit from subsistence farming to medium/large scale farming.
Women, he added, are good managers, and their commitment to the welfare of the family and the society cannot be over emphasized.
Ogbeh said women remain the anchor of the nation’s agriculture as they contribute to the development of the sector as evidenced in various statistics that shows women constitute 70% of the small-scale farmers that actually feed the nation.
He, however, acknowledged some challenges facing women in the sector to include poor access to finance and farm inputs such as fertiliser, improved seeds, farm machineries, agro-chemicals, access to land, market access and in some cases, insecurity.
The wife of Mr President, Mrs Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by her Special Assistant, Dr Hajo Sani, disclosed that educating a girl-child is paramount for sustainable development of the society, and that when you educate a girl-child, you have empowered the child to be able to stand on her own.
She also believed that launching of the National Gender Action Plan would uplift women from subsistence agriculture to modern agriculture
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Abudulkadir Muazu, who was represented by a director, Dr Watergire Bright, disclosed that Nigeria’s agriculture and food industry are still unable to meet the demand of population of over 170 million both in quantitative and qualitative terms, assuring that Nigeria was working to reduce its food import bill of over $11 million per year, so that local producers could take advantage of the opportunities to create wealth and generate jobs for the country.
Director of Extension Services in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babaginda, stated that the National Gender Plan on Agriculture (NGAP) is a framework for positive action which aims at ensuring that current sector policies actually yield tangible results yearly, adding that it also aims to outline rural concrete programmes and actions required for maximising the potential of many farmers, including women practitioners in agriculture.
Source: The Guardian