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Forum wants women-friendly agric policies, as ‘female food heroes’ honored in Abuja

The Oxfam in Nigeria has urged government to work with other stakeholders for policies that would facilitate women’s access to resources and services including land…

The Oxfam in Nigeria has urged government to work with other stakeholders for policies that would facilitate women’s access to resources and services including land rights to boost their participation in agriculture and boost food security in the country.

The Oxfam in Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Vincent Ahonsi, made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the Female Food Hero Award 2022 also tagged ‘Ogbonge Women’ organized in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other Civil Society Organizations.

Also, at the event, three women emerged as Female Food Hero, with Ms Precious Onoja coming first with N600,000 worth of prizes; Mrs. Princess Okafor came second with N400,000 and Damilola Awe, emerged third with N200,000 worth of prizes, while other finalists get N50,000 worth of prizes each.

Ahonsi represented by the organization’s Director of Finance and Admin, Mrs. Ifunfun Akinduro, said that the organisation started the initiative in 2012 to encourage entrepreneurial spirit among small scale farmers in Nigeria as an approach to improving their livelihood through the formal recognition of such efforts.

“The principal objective of the scheme is to recognize women Small Scale Farmers who are demonstrating outstanding entrepreneurial spirit and best practice despite the numerous challenges they face.

“These challenges are climate change impacts, lack of access to land, market, inputs, and extension among several others. It is also aimed at improving livelihoods, building leadership qualities, empowerment and raising the profile of small-scale farmers’ especially female farmers.

“Oxfam believes that there can be no food justice without gender justice, contrary to the view that farming is a ‘male’ activity, carried out while women take care of the family,” he said.

On her part, a grassroots farmer and treasurer of the Ogbonge Women group, Ms. Monica Maigari, commended Oxfam, the ministry and other partners for the initiative to support women farmers.

She, however, want practical actions to address the numerous challenges facing them, including funds, fertilizers and land among others.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, commended Oxfam for the initiative in recognizing the vital role being played by women in the agriculture sector and national development.

Umakhihe stressed the importance of the theme for this year’s World Food Day is ‘Leave no one behind, better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life’.

According to him, the theme aimed at heightening awareness on the need to build a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food with no one left behind.

He said, “Our Female Food Heroes Award, an initiative of Oxfam, an event that identifies women food producers who are playing leading roles in agricultural development, helping to end world hunger and increasing food security.

“The award is to celebrate outstanding women farmers who have made significant contributions to their communities in the face of daunting challenges to agricultural production.”

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