The Federal Government has inaugurated the National Gender Steering Committee for the Implementation of Gender Policy in the Agricultural sector.
The Permanent Secretary, Ernest Umakhihe while inaugurating the Committee in Abuja, stated that the initiative would promote and ensure the adoption of gender sensitive approaches, plans and programmes in such a way that men and women will have equal access and control of productive resources.
He said, “The availability of the policy document is expected to address the vulnerability of women to biases in the agriculture sector, integrate gender perspectives in National Planning, and create more jobs for women and financial empowerment.
“The Ministry is committed to mainstreaming of gender issues in the Agricultural sector to achieve food Security, eradicate poverty and hunger in Nigeria.”
He explained that the National Gender policy in Agriculture is consistent with the Global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by World Leaders.
According to him, the global 2030 agenda underscores the vital role agriculture plays in Sustainable Development and its importance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty, ending hunger, achieving food Security, ensuring healthy lives and enhancing the empowerment of All Women and Girls to bridge the gender gap and enhance food Security.
He further stressed that the Nigerian agricultural sector has been repositioned as a business through the value chain development and as an alternative to crude oil.
“Therefore efforts should be geared towards the implementation of policies and programmes for the realization of this government’s initiatives and programmes,” he said.
The Director, Special Duties Department of the Ministry, Fausat Lawal, in her remarks stated that the policy document is a developmental strategy for poverty reduction and it is expected to empower small scale holder farmers who are predominately women.
Lawal speaking further, noted that women small scale holder farmers constitute about 70-80 percent of the agriculture labour force and they produced the bulk of food for domestic consumption.