The Federal Government has called for the support of critical stakeholders to implement gender policy in agriculture in order to ensure food security.
Women play a strategic role in food production, availability, affordability, and accessibility. Speaking at a workshop on ‘Implementation of the 11 Objectives of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said it is important to chart a road map on roles, responsibilities of stakeholders and the timelines for the implementation of the policy.
While maintaining that the Ministry and its agencies remain committed to the well-being and empowerment of women and girls in the sector, he requested for partnership with stakeholders to achieve the implementation of the policy.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono had in October 2019 implemented the National Gender Policy on Agriculture, and the National Gender Steering Committee for the implementation of the policy was inaugurated on April 20.
“The thrust of today’s workshop, therefore, hinges on charting a road map on roles, responsibilities of stakeholders and the timelines for the implementation of the policy as a demonstration of the ministry’s commitment toward engendering the agriculture sector.
“I, therefore, request the National Assembly, Development Partners, Organised Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Philanthropists, the media, other stakeholders and indeed men to partner with the ministry in the implementation of the policy as gender cannot be mainstreamed without the support of men.
“It is worthy of note that the policy equally captures the concerns of people living with disabilities. These legal frameworks called for the development of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture to reduce the vulnerabilities of women and enhance food security.”
While noting that gender mainstreaming is ‘Smart Economics ‘ and a prerequisite for eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable human development, he said the policy legal framework was based on recommendations of the National Gender Policy under the supervision of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Protocols and Treaties signed by the Federal Government on gender mainstreaming, and the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.
He further pointed out that since agriculture has been made a business with a return on investments, it is now set to become a mainstay of the nation’s economy as an alternative to oil.
While noting that gender mainstreaming in the sector is dear to the Federal Government towards economic growth and poverty reduction, commended the National Council of Agriculture for domesticating the National Gender Policy in Agriculture in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for more inclusion and productivity in food production.
The UN Women, Country Representative to Nigeria, and ECOWAS, Comfort Lamptey, in a goodwill message pledged the support of the organization to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture on the objectives of the National Gender Policy. Lamptey, who was represented by Desmond Usemije, revealed that the UN body had trained about 50 extension women workers as well as youth cooperative societies in the country.
“We support Nigeria Government in developing gender policy”, Lamptey said.