The ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and the Small Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) have urged the federal and state governments to implement the gender policy in the agricultural sector as part of measures to ensure equal access and gender-sensitive approaches to food production in the country.
This is contained in the communique of a two-day “Popularisation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture” organised by the two organisations on Thursday in Abuja.
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The communique signed by the National President, SWOFON, Mrs Mary I. Afan, however, commended the 44th National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) for approving the domestication and implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture in the 36 of the federation and FCT.
Mrs Afan also called for the creation of special budget lines to fund the implementation of the national gender policy in agriculture.
“Federal and state governments should ensure equity, through periodic impact analysis of all agricultural policies, programmes, projects, and activities of smallholder women farmers. The Federal and state governments should also eliminate all forms of culture or religious-based gender biases in agriculture,” she said.
She also called for the urgent review of the Land Use Act to address the issues of gender discrimination in land ownership.
On his part, the Flood and Agriculture Programme Coordinator (AAN), Mr Azubuike Nwokoye, pledged that the AAN would continue to support SWOFON for engagement in the area of agriculture to communities across the country.
While commending the government for listening to the demands of SWOFON, he urged that the gender policy be implemented.
“We don’t want it to go the way other policies have always gone because nobody is placing so much on the agriculture sector. As ActionAid, we will make sure we support the SWOFON across Nigeria to understand the policy and also be able to engage with it in their advocacy and engagement.
“We are very sure that within this policy, SWOFON will provide a lot of response and support to the government when they start engaging with the policy,” Nwokoye said.