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April 17, 2024
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UN Women Country Rep Calls for Gender Inclusivity in Agriculture

The United Nations (UN) Women Country Representative to Nigeria, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, emphasized the critical role of women in achieving food security.

Speaking at the FGN-IFAD Cooperation Open House & Exhibition Fair on Tuesday, she stated that, “Women are central to food security. This is a fact we all recognize. The theme for this year, ‘Investing in Women, Accelerating Progress,’ is a call for concerted efforts to eradicate poverty and build gender-inclusive societies.

“If we don’t address this issue, approximately 342 million women globally could fall into extreme poverty,” Eyong warned.

Highlighting Nigeria’s demographics, she noted that women head 15% of rural households and 19% of urban households, stressing the importance of integrating these women into agricultural activities.

She further addressed the challenges women face in agriculture, such as limited access to finance, markets, land, and information. She commended initiatives like Climate-Smart Agriculture, implemented in collaboration with IFAD, for supporting women in building resilience to climate change.

Eyong also highlighted the introduction of a digital platform allowing women to sell their produce globally and the integration of low-cost biogas technology into women’s farming systems to facilitate gas production from organic materials.

Echoing Eyong’s concerns, Dr. Priscilla Achapka, Global President of the Women Environment Programme, underscored the need for a strong legal framework to ensure women’s inclusion and investment in agriculture.

“We need a legal framework that addresses the inclusion of women in agriculture and their investments,” Dr. Achapka stressed.

While acknowledging existing policies like the National Policy on Women, she emphasized the importance of enforcing these policies, not just having them on paper.

Dr. Achapka identified capacity building and technology development as crucial elements for empowering women in agriculture.

“We need to invest in women through capacity building, technology development, and other aspects of agriculture,” she asserted, advocating for gender-sensitive budgetary allocations to effectively implement these policies.

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