Agriculture: African Women Task Govts To Formulate Gender Inclusive Policies
The wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who led a delegation of women from Nigeria to the 2nd edition of the African Women in Agriculture (AWA) Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, yesterday deliberated with other African women leaders and stakeholders across the globe on how to enhance profile of women in Agriculture for the attainment of the sustainable development goal (SDG).
Gender inequality, poor access to loans, poor access to farmlands, poor gender inclusion in agricultural policies and governance, amongst other things, were highlighted as constraints inhibiting the participation of African women in agriculture.
At the end of the sessions, stakeholders recommended the need for African leaders to formulate and implement policies that are gender inclusive and to consistently train women farmers especially rural dwellers on improved farming methods to maximize productivity.
In her address at the opening ceremony, the Patroness of AWA 2018, Mrs Aissata Issoufou, First Lady of the Republic of Niger lauded the objectives of the summit to advocate for women’s empowerment through agriculture and promote national, regional and international integration among African countries.
Mrs Angelle Kweno, Founder, Believe In Africa, described the African Women in Agriculture (AWA) Initiative as a high-level annual dialogue between leaders from Africa and across the World to strengthen the role of women in the development of agriculture in Africa.
She also noted that the initiative is very important given the level of participation and engagement of African women in Agriculture which includes cultivation, harvesting, processing, distribution and marketing.
One of the highpoint of the summit was the success story of L and Z Integrated Farm limited, a Kano-based company, co-founded by a woman, Mrs Adija Zubaid Damakka, who shared challenges and solutions of managing a Dairy Farm that started with two Heifers, producing only five liters of milk a day and stands today, producing 3,000 liters of milk processed into L and Z yoghurts and Ice cream sold across Nigeria.
Mrs Ibidunni Ogunleye, a poultry farmer from Ondo State, Nigeria, in her presentation at the summit pointed out some of the challenges faced by women farmers in Nigeria.
Mrs Ogunleye who shared her success story encouraged other women farmers to show diligence and determination in their businesses and advised that farmers must understand the ecosystem in which they operate, make consultations with professionals to maximize their productivity.
Other presentations were from Prof. Zoubida Charrouf- Mohammed V University – Morocco and Mr Patrick Andre – Founder Botanicosm Ethic, France centred on the need for better inclusion and participation of women in policy development and implementation especially on gender-based and socio-economic issues to facilitate capacity building, economic prosperity and improved Nutrition and health outcomes.