In order to achieve food security and reduce poverty, the Nigerian government on Thursday launched the ‘National Gender Policy on Agriculture’ in Abuja.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said it is time for women to be prominent in the agriculture sector.

Mr Nanono said the policy was to enhance the equality of access to resources for both genders as well as provide equal opportunities of livelihood while progressively realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

”The goal of the gender policy is to ensure equal opportunities and access to resources, services and agricultural programmes in Nigeria regardless of gender as a means of providing economic security growth in Nigeria,” he said.

“It is important to note that women make up about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population and are responsible for carrying out 70 per cent of agricultural labour, 50 per cent of animal husbandry related activities and 60 per cent of food processing activities but have access to less than 20 per cent of available agricultural resources which is a serious impediment to them,” he added.

He complained about ”the reluctant attitude of women towards education and research in Nigeria”.

“Women possess the characteristics of researchers but they are few in research institutions,” he said. “How do women educate the children they gave birth to?”

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu, advised the women ”to stand up and face their challenges”.

“You must stand up and seize the opportunity. Sometimes, women do not even respond to their own event,” he said.

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