The federal government in a bid to cushion the effect of COVID -19 Pandemic and
Improve food Production in the country on Thursday rolled out the distribution of agricultural inputs to about 10,000 smallholder women farmers in North central states and FCT
The inputs distributed are value kits (planting materials, growth enhancer and agro-chemicals) in yam, cassava, potatoes, soybean, rice, maize, sesame, ginger, sorghum/millet, cowpea and horticultural crops
The minister of Agriculture and rural development, Mohammed Nano during the event held in Abuja, stated that the Ministry and its research institutions are working towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in good quality seed and its availability to farmers as a foundation for attaining food and nutrition security as well as industrialization
The minister while considering women’s vital role in the development of the Agriculture stated commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the agricultural sector. he said there is a deliberate policy of 35% inclusion of Women in all the Ministry’s activities
He said “women are the key to sustainable development and quality of life. “There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved
“I have deliberately undertaken initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowerment of women in line with the targets set in our Economic Sustainability Plan, Agric Gender Policy, National Gender Action Plan (N-GAP) for Agriculture, Agricultural Sector Food Security and Nutrition Strategy Documents aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women”
Nanono further stated concerted efforts to improve rural infrastructure such as rural roads, boreholes, irrigation facilities, solar lights, markets etc that are enablers for improved agricultural performance for farmers and processors active in the rural space.
In his remarks, the minister of state for Agriculture, Mustapha Baba Shehuri Revealed plans by the federal Governments to collaborate with the private sector to improve availability of good seedlings
“The Ministry and its research institutions are working towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in good quality seed and its availability to farmers as a foundation for attaining food and nutrition security as well as industrialization.
” The Ministry is supporting breeder and foundation seeds production and linking up with the private seed companies to make certified seeds available to farmers. This coupled with our efforts to improve rural infrastructure and other value-chains supports would invariably contribute to the attainment of Mr. Presidents desire to ensure easy access to quality food and nutrition by Nigerians” he concluded
Meanwhile, Desmond Osemhenjie representing the United Nations, UN Women country pledged support for Nigeria women to improve food Production and security in the country.
“UN women has partnered with the federal ministry of Agriculture in terms of cash transfer, rice value chain and we would always collaborate with Nigeria women to ensure growth in the Sector” he mentioned.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY