FG launches national gender policy in agriculture
THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has launched the National Gender Policy in Agriculture.
The policy would promote and ensure the adoption of gender sensitive and responsive approaches towards engendering plans and programmes, in such a way that men and women have equal access and control of productive resources and facilities to bridge gender gaps.
Speaking at the launch held in Abuja, Nanono, said that the policy would provide direction for the different roles of women and men in agriculture for development and gender equality in access to resources as well as equal opportunities in maximising means of livelihood and also necessary condition for progressively realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He further 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 increase productivity by men and women along all the value chains in the sector. This will improve food security, reduce hunger, poverty and sustain the livelihoods of men and women who rely on agricultural value chains for common good.’’
The minister stressed: “This event no doubt, is a unique platform aimed at contributing to the attainment of the on-going agricultural reforms and development agenda of the present administration.
“The National Gender Policy in Agriculture is hinged on the National Gender Policy (2006) and its Strategic Implementation Framework (2008) as developed by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.”
He emphasised that “it is important to note that women make up about 50% of Nigeria’s population and are responsible for carrying out 70% of agricultural labour, 50% of animal husbandry related activities and 60% of food processing activities but have access to less than 20% of available agricultural resources which is a serious impediment to their maximising agricultural production and that is why the launch of this policy document is apt.”
In his remarks, the Chairman on the occasion and Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Sen. Dr. Abdullahi Adamu, said the role of women in the agricultural sector cannot be overemphasised because “women are in involved in all the processing from clearing of the farm, harvesting and packaging of agricultural products.’’
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr Mohammed Bello Umar, represented by the Director, Special Duties/Gender, Mr Zubairu Abdullahi, said that: “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’’
Dr Umar, pointed out that: “As a ministry, we are committed 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’’.