Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have pledged commitment towards speedy implementation of National Gender Policy on Agriculture.
The stakeholders gave the assurance at National Gender Policy in Agriculture Forum on Wednesday in Abuja.
The forum was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) in collaboration with the National Gender Steering Committee for the implementation of the policy, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Development Research Programme Centre (DRPC), among others.
Mr Temitope Fashedemi, Permanent Secretary, FMAFS, said the forum signalled another giant stride and commitment of the ministry in mainstreaming gender in agricultural sector for improved food security.
According to him, the policy is to promote and ensure the adoption of gender sensitive and responsive approaches towards engendering plans and programmes.
He said the programmes would be in such a way that men and women had equal access and control of productive resources.
Fashedemi said women accounted for quite a number of the farming population in Nigeria and their possibilities in agriculture were greatly hindered differently across ethnic groups.
“Women make up about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population; it is smart economic to plan with both halves of the population, such approach benefits society as a whole.
“Agriculture is on concurrent list which calls for strong collaboration between the federal and state governments as well as ministries of agriculture for the policy implementations.
“Civil Society Organisations among others should support the FMAFS in the realisation of these lofty goals, “he said.
Mr Azubike Nwokoye, Chairman, National Gender Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Gender Policy on Agriculture, said the forum was constituted to provide the needed support and contributions.
Nwokoye, who is the Programme Manager, Food and Agriculture, AAN, said the forum was aimed at chatting a way forward in effective implementation of the policy.
He said the policy reform was aimed at eliminating gender biased discrimination and promoting equal access to resources, services, technologies, markets, opportunities, among others.
“Effective implementation of the policy can close the gap in agricultural labour, markets, generate gains in agricultural input, increase food security and foster economic growth, ” he said.
Also, Ifeoma Ayanwu, Deputy Director and Head of Gender, FMAFS, listed some objectives of the policy as mainstreaming gender in extension delivery and institutionalising gender responsive budgeting.
She said the policy was targeted at promoting the use of gender-sensitive data collection and gender statistics for evidence based planning, policy and programme.
“Other objectives included improve cultural practices that hinder women and people with special needs from access to land, finance, fertiliser and other agricultural assets through advocacy, lobbing, sensitisation among others, ” she said. (NAN)