A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), has called on governments at all levels to provide adequate support for women farmers to make them contribute their quota to the policy of national food security.

The Executive Director of the WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, made the call at a capacity building workshop organised for women farmers in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

She disclosed that women farmers have just 14 per cent holding rights on the land where they farm and therefore, have limited access to land, credit facilities, farm inputs, training and advice, technology and crop insurance, which the government is in better position to provide, but has failed to oblige them.

Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi lamented government’s neglect of women farmers despite their deep commitments to farming and enormous contributions to food production and security in Nigeria.

She advised government to motivate women farmers in actualising their dreams in farming.

According to her: “Nigerian women play important roles in food and agriculture. It has been reported that women small holder farmers constitute 70-80 per cent of agric labour force. They produce the bulk of food for domestic consumption and they are the drivers of food processing, marketing and preservation.

“In spite of their strategic roles in food production, the government hardly focuses on supporting them. I am also calling on government to involve women in the policy-making processes in agriculture to improve their participation in government’s hunger and poverty eradication agenda.”

She lamented that most of the organisations advocating for government support for farmers were made up of male advocates who exclude women’s contributions.

Akiyode-Afolabi, said the workshop was organised to push for a parading shift from male domination and ensure that gender approaches are introduced to government’s agricultural policies and programmes.

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