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Women Farmers Disassociates From AFAN Over Exclusion, Leadership Issues

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Women Farmers
The national coordinator, Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative, Omolara Svensson (third from left) flanked by other farmers during the press briefing in Abuja.

Women farmers under the Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative (NWAPDI), have announced their disassociation from the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).

Addressing journalists in Abuja, NWAPDI national coordinator, Omolara Svensson explained that the decision to dissociate was not taken lightly but was necessary due to the poor inclusion of women and ongoing leadership conflicts within AFAN.

“After careful consideration and deliberation, the Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative (NWAPDI) has decided to dissociate from AFAN,” Svensson stated. She emphasised that the exclusion of women and the long-term leadership tussles within AFAN have hampered the growth of the agricultural sector.

Svensson highlighted that, unlike other sectors with women’s wings, such as the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), AFAN has never had a dedicated women’s wing. This absence is notable, given that women constitute over 70 per cent of the agricultural workforce in Nigeria.

“The poor inclusion of women in AFAN’s activities and the ongoing leadership tussles within the organisation were issues I tried to address during my tenure as Head of Women in Agriculture for the Oyo State AFAN chapter,” Svensson noted. “Despite numerous efforts to resolve these issues, we have found it necessary to redirect our energy and resources to NWAPDI.”

NWAPDI, established as the first Nigerian organisation exclusively for women in the agricultural sector, focuses on production, processing, trade and commerce. Svensson noted that unlike AFAN and similar organisations, NWAPDI is uniquely dedicated to empowering and supporting women in agriculture across Nigeria.

“Our mission is to ensure that women have a significant and influential role in shaping the agricultural landscape of our country. However, despite our efforts, we have observed a persistent lack of meaningful inclusion and recognition of women within AFAN, undermining our core objectives and the progress we strive to achieve,” she said.

Additionally, Svensson criticised the continuous leadership disputes within AFAN, which she described as creating an unstable and counterproductive environment. These internal conflicts have hampered effective collaboration and progress, making it increasingly challenging for NWAPDI to fulfill its mandate.

“As of today, NWAPDI stands as the only registered and authorised women-only agricultural initiative in Nigeria. This position underscores our commitment to creating a focused, inclusive, and progressive platform for women in agriculture. By standing independently, we believe we can more effectively advocate for the interests of women farmers and drive meaningful change within the agricultural sector,” Svensson asserted.

She further added that NWAPDI will continue to work tirelessly to support and uplift women in agriculture through various programs, initiatives and advocacy efforts. The organisation remains dedicated to its vision of a robust and inclusive agricultural sector where women play a leading and decisive role.

NWAPDI remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering women in agriculture and contributing to the sustainable development of Nigeria’s agricultural industry.

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