Efforts of the Ondo state government to ensure women are fully integrated into agriculture in a productive way has begun to yield results.
This is coming on the heels of the Cluster Start Up Workshop and inauguration of the Agric Gender Friendly Policy Development Technical Working Group (TWG) in Akure by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) in Akure.
Speaking at the event, the USAID/SACE Chief of Party, Civil Society Project, Mr. Charles Ubani, said they were supporting Life and Peace Development Organisation (LAPDO) in the implementation of a project titled: “Enhancing inclusive agricultural sector in Ondo State.”
He identified agriculture as a major aspect of any economy, stressing that women are key set of actors to be empowered to engage with the government to promote women friendly policy in the sector.
Ubani commended Ondo state government for providing the needed environment and support for female agroprenuers.
“When we talk of great Nigeria, it is all about the people and not the assets,” he said, stressing that the TWG is meant to remove barriers that discourage women from agriculture and disallow the male counterpart for taking undue advantages over them.”
Wife of Ondo State governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who was decorated as the Cluster Advocacy Change Champion, stated that the TWG would facilitate agricultural development.
She lamented the significant inequalities between the female and female genders, saying the global-gender pay gap indicates that women consistently earn 24 per cent income less than men.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu, however, said the present administration had given agriculture a priority, with allocation in the 2017 budget being the highest in the last seven years.
She added that the state government had also allocated about 150,000 hectares of land to boost cocoa, oil palm and cassava production, aside creating the agro-women initiative
She pledged her office’s support including personnel to the TWG and smallholder women farmers to achieve positive results.