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Abubakar Drums Support For National Gender Policy On Agriculture

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FMARD ActionAId
L-R: The country director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ms. Ene Obi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe when the former paid a courtesy call on the minister in his office in Abuja.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has restated the ministry’s unwavering support for the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture.

The minister made this known at the weekend during the courtesy visit by the National Gender Steering Committee led by the ActionAid Nigeria country director, Ms. Ene Obi to his office in Abuja.

He recalled that last year, the ministry inaugurated the National Gender Steering Committee on the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture to mainstream gender into climate change for persons living with disability, access to input for women, among others.

Abubakar commended the committee forwards creating visibility and awareness, especially in translating the National Gender Policy into local languages to ensure the domestication of the policy in some states of the federation.

He stated that the commitment to implement eight (8) of the 11 objectives of the policy which aligns with the mandate of the committee had been forwarded to the World Bank through the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning for necessary action. 

The minister pointed out that the onerous responsibility of adopting strategies for a seamless implementation of the objectives of the policy and the well-articulated resolutions at the media retreat to pay courtesy calls on the ministers of women’s affairs, finance, budget and national planning and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as a formidable strategy aimed at creating awareness about the policy for positive outcomes. 

Earlier, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe commended the country director, ActionAid Nigeria, for accepting to provide leadership to the committee on the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture and also the executive director, Development Research and Project Centre, Judith-Ann Walker for sponsoring the second retreat of the committee scheduled for Grace Point Hotel, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja. 

In her welcome address, the director, special duties, FMARD, Mrs. Fausat Lawal represented by the deputy director (special duties), Akinrinlo Taiwo said that the focus of the policy was to mainstream women in the extension services’ system, improve their responsiveness in agricultural service delivery, integrate gender perspectives into climate change and capacity of smallholder farmers on climate adaptation strategies. 

Earlier in her remarks, Obi said that the National Gender Policy was an assertive document which recognised the limitation of growth and development of the agricultural sector. 

She pointed out how female farmers had been supported by different ministries through ActionAid Nigeria with agricultural produce and training programmes throughout states of the federation at subsidised rates. 

Also, Obi pleaded for the creation of a budget for small-scale women farmers to access the Central Bank of Nigeria’s credit facilities at a single-digit rate.

A statement by the ministry’s director of information, signed by Olatunji Modupe said the ministry’s assistant director for gender, Mrs. Ifeoma Anyanwu, in her presentation, stated that the workshops on mainstreaming gender into climate change held in the six geo-political zones with about 1,000 women trained in the mitigation and adaptation strategy against climate change and were given clean stoves. 

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