During a meeting with community, youth and women leaders, the minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye disclosed the Federal Government plans to purchase and disseminate mechanised farming equipment among women in various communities within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) so as to empower women in agricultural production and improve their wellbeing.
She stated that this will go a long way in increasing agricultural production as well as reducing stress for women who carry out almost all farm activities with their bare hands.
Members of the group, which comprised vigilante members and representatives of the Nigeria police force were selected from six different communities within FCT including Galadimawa, Jikwoyi, Kobi, Kuje, Piagba and Karu.
According to her, “One of our goals is to save our women from further stress and provide them modern machinery that will de-chaff, de-stone, and parboil the rice before bagging them for the market.
“Our women have suffered enough and we must change the narrative by migrating from manual to mechanised farming.”
She further announced that the machines will reach the communities represented within a month and will be distributed after the women have been trained on how to operate them.
The minister emphasized that this initiative encompasses the acquisition of tricycles commonly known as ‘Keke napep’ for women residing in selected FCT communities. These women will undergo training to operate the tricycles, and their progress will be closely monitored. As the program advances, more tricycles will be obtained through a similar process to extend the empowerment to other women.
She also called on the police to prioritise the security of the women while they operate the tricycles.
As part of the farming initiative, women will receive training in high-yield potato and rice cultivation by providing them with seedlings, land, boreholes and other irrigation facilities in order to encourage year-round farming activities.
She concluded stating that the scheme will begin in the selected FCT communities and revealed plans to expand it to include states such as Jigawa, Kano and Kebbi and other states in the country.