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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Amb. Idro disappointed by elites, says they abandoned women farmers

The chairman of the Uganda-based Leveraging Excellence in Agricultural Development (LEAD), Ambassador Philip Idro has expressed disappointment on elites claiming to be championing growth of agriculture on the continent of Africa, alleging they have abandoned women farmers, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He made his views known at the sideline events on Accelerating Africa’s Rise: Maximising Non-State Actors’ Potential for Results and Impact at the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum ongoing in Kenyan capital, Nairobi, Amb. Idro described women as the brains behind the food on the glass tables of the elites.

Amb. Idro charged the facilitators of the session, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) to be more people oriented, because no matter whatever happens, the people are the majority and even more than those in government, but needed adequate mobilization and enlightenment.

The former Ugandan ambassador to China also lamented that despite the role of women in development of agriculture, large number of them especially in Africa have been abandon and neglected in the rural areas by those who should cater for them.

These attitudes, he said, have led to lack of social amenities to better the lives of these women and children who form large number of the smallholders and subsistence farmers across the continent.

“I am disappointed at the elites who have abandoned our rural women,” he decried, noting that these women from day breaks, wake up to ensure there is food prepared for everyone in the house including their husbands, and use estimated about two-hours to search and fetch water daily, very often with children at the back.

He also lamented that infact by the time they finished preparing breakfast and head to the farms, a little time later, it will be lunch and then after working all day, gets home to start another round of dinner preparation and of course without forgetting to make the husband happy eventually.

He wondered why such a person or group of persons will not fail sick if not by the grace of God, stressing that unfortunately, those who have passed through these rural women, forget soon and very easily to plough back in the areas of improving their lives with social amenities like good roads to move their produce to a larger market, clinics and schools.

Ambassador Idro, therefore charged the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) to work on reversing these trends so as to properly empower women especially in Africa.

Other panelists at the session include the Executive Director, ACORD, Mr. Ousainou Ngum, One Campiaign representative to the African Union (AU) and East Africa, Dorine Nininahazwe, Deputy Regional Director at Oxfam, Ms Dedo Mate-Kodjo, deputy chairman of CNC, Mr. Cris Muyunda, chief executive officer of East Africa Farmers Federation, Mr. Stephen Muchiri and was moderated by the Executive Director, Local Development Research Institute (LDRI), Mr. Muchiri Nyaggah.

Remmy Nweke in Nairobi/GEE
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Pix: Amb. Idro speaking

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