The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmoud Abubakar, has affirmed the ministry’s commitment to gender mainstreaming at all levels of the agricultural sector.
Speaking at a workshop on ‘Gender Mainstreaming, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Women Farmers’ in Owerri, Imo State, he said the thrust of the National Gender Policy approved in 2019 is to achieve gender-based reforms that cut across all value chains of the agricultural sector.
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“Nigeria’s agriculture is most vulnerable and susceptible to the impacts of climate change. Indeed, it is rain-fed dependent. Any change in the weather pattern, in terms of the amount, intensity, duration, and the on-set affect farmers’ decisions on when, what and where of the crops and inputs as well as other cultural operations in the value chain.
“Climate change and variability affect particularly women who constitute the most vulnerable among the farming communities.
“Women farmers face various challenges and needs, especially climate change and variability, access to information and technologies,” the minister stated.
Represented by the Imo State Director, Pastor Chris Iwuchukwu, the minister said the reinvigoration of the policy will ultimately ensure commitment to gender mainstreaming at all levels of the agricultural sector, which is seen as a tool for achieving gender-based reforms and increasing productivity by men and women along all the value chains in the sector.
In his welcome remarks, the Hon. Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Imo State, Dr. Okorochukwu Barthy, said to improve food sufficiency, especially in the South East, “we must get more women farmers that will produce more food”, adding that climate change highlights the need for mitigation and adaptation to ensure more farming seasons in a given year.
The director, Special Duties in the ministry, Mrs Faust Lawal, represented by the Head, Gender Unit in the ministry, Mrs Ifeoma Anyanwu, recalled that the thrust of the National Gender Policy is to reduce the vulnerability of women in agriculture, especially in their access to inputs, feeds, finance and information.
Over 150 women from Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra states, representing the South East geo-political zone participated in the event.