The federal government has called for more support for women participation in agricultural food value chain to ensure sustainability and food security in the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, who stated this when he received in audience a delegation of Nigeria Women Agro-Allied Farmers Association (NIWAAFA) led by Mrs Lizzy Igbine ,over the weekend in Abuja, acknowledged the fact that in recent times women are the leading participants in agro-processing, milling of groundnut, processing cassava into flour and chips in order to meet their needs and also improve the economy of the country.
Nanono further stressed the need for NIWAAFA to diversify and be more inclusive to integrate more women both in the rural and urban areas, cutting across states of the federation into their Association.
He cited the examples of the Fulani women selling milk and also other woman traders, trading in agricultural commodities, adding that the Association should get more vocal people, so that they will politically, economically and socially be recognised in the country.
He informed that the federal government has set up five milk processing factories across the country and would establishing more of them, stating that this milk processing plants are targeting the Fulani women hawking milk to supply at least 30,000 litres of milk per day.
The minister said he was aware of the challenges facing women farmers in Nigeria, such as the inability to stand on their own and get financing for what they do. He therefore promised to link them up with some donor agencies that are gender sensitive in order to assist them to access loans to enable them acquire other farming tools.
In her presentation, the leader of the group, Mrs Lizzy Igbine requested for partnership and support for the Association’s immediate demands which includes; establishment of a modern farmers market in FCT precisely in Gworza market, and women farmers training centers across the federation.