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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Women cornerstone of agricultural production in Nigeria

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sunny Echono, said women are the cornerstone of agricultural production, processing, marketing and utilisation in the country, NaijaAgroNet reports.

He added that Nigeria’s agriculture could never achieve any meaningful development without mainstreaming concern into the nation’s policy and programme.

“Women supply 70 per cent of agricultural labour; 50 per cent of animal husbandry related activities and 60 per cent of food processing, yet they have access to only 20 per cent of available agricultural resources They play vital roles in the maintenance of our families, investing as much as 90 per cent of their income.”

NaijaAgroNet learnt that Echono was represented by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Extension, Dele Onorunfemi at the launch of African women in agriculture report titled: “Economic empowerment of African women through equitable participation in agricultural value chains’’ on Monday in Abuja.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Nigeria Country Director, African Development Bank, Ousmane Dore, said Nigerian women contribute close to 70 per cent of agricultural workforce yet get less of accruing returns.

He said the report aimed at contributing to the economic empowerment of African women in agriculture, through identification and proffering of possible solutions to hindrances to women’s active participation in agricultural value chains.

 “Lack of ownership of land and other productive assets due to existing social norms has created a significant negative impact on the family income and the nation’s GDP at large,’’ Mr. Dore said.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ED,OPs
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