The National Gender Policy on Agriculture is set to be implemented after the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) convened a workshop that focused on the enactment of the policy’s objectives.
The meeting, which was aimed at charting a way forward and accelerating the implementation of the policy, was convened in Abuja.
Earlier in April this year, the National Gender Steering Committee saddled with the responsibility of the policy implementation was inaugurated.
Speaking at the event, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said that the thrust of the workshop hinges on chatting a road map on the roles, responsibilities of stakeholders and timelines for the implementation of the policy.
He noted that this will act as a demonstration of the ministry’s commitment towards engendering the agriculture sector adding that the policy equally captured the concerns of people living with disabilities.
“The policy legal framework was based on the recommendations of the National Gender Policy under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Protocols and Treaties signed by the Federal Government on gender mainstreaming and the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.
“These legal frameworks called for the development of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture to reduce the vulnerabilities of women and enhance food security.
“The policy is consistent with the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by World Leaders at the United Nations Summit in New York, in September 2015, which underscores the vital role agriculture plays in sustainable development and its importance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Umakhihe stated.
According to him, the ministry and its agencies are committed to the socio-economic empowerment of women and girls in the sector, recognising the fact that gender mainstreaming is “Smart Economies” and a prerequisite for eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable human development.
He said, “In many parts of the world including Nigeria, women are the main producers of food but have limited access to inputs as there are huge gender disparities in the agriculture sector and failure to address these gender gaps in roles, differences, and inequalities between men and women pose a serious threat to the effectiveness of the agricultural development agenda.”
On her part, the Director of Special Duties at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Fausat Lawal, expressed that there is a huge gender disparity in the agricultural sector.
She noted that smallholder farmers who are predominantly women have limited access to farm inputs.
“In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are the global driven agendas adopted by the leaders at the 70th UN General Assembly in 2015 with 17 Goals and 169 targets for National stability towards the essential for all- dignity and prosperity, progress, justice and peace, the National Gender Policy in Agriculture was produced to empower women, enhance food security and bridge gender gaps,” Lawal added.