The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has charged the Federal Government to increase support for women in agriculture to boost productivity across the agricultural value chain.
National president, NACCIMA, Ide John Udeagbala, made the call at the Nigerian International Women Entrepreneur Exhibition (NIWEX) 2022 on Friday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was tagged “Encouraging women in Agriculture and made-in-Nigeria products for economic growth.”
Udeagbala, represented by Mr Kola Akosile, Vice president, NACCIMA, said the call had become necessary because women still encountered issues such as socio-cultural challenges, which hindered their potential to contribute their quota to agricultural development.
He noted that women constituted about 70 per cent of the workforce in the agricultural sector, making their contributions significant.
He added that they were involved in diverse processes of the agricultural value chain to ensure that food production, processing and even marketing were made easy, thereby ensuring sustainable delivery of food in the country.
“Agriculture is an important engine for growth and poverty reduction, but the sector seems to be underperforming because women in urban and rural economy face constraints that reduce their productivity.
“In view of these challenges women face in the area of agriculture, production and processing, let me use this medium to encourage our women to intensify their efforts in promoting agricultural production through made-in-Nigeria product,” he said.
Also, Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Lagos State, Mrs Lola Akande, said women had the potential to transform the economy if given the right opportunities and encouragement.
Akande, represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, said the event’s theme was apt considering the fact that women contributed to the bulk of the population and their roles in feeding families.
She commended the NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG) for the exceptional role played in coordinating the efforts of women in the chamber in Lagos and the country at large.
“There is no better time for this programme to come up than now because women must be assisted and encouraged to contribute their quota to economic diversification,” she said.
The Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, reiterated Lagos State government’s commitment to alleviating the challenges faced by women in the agricultural sector by giving priority to women in all its projects and initiatives.
She noted that the ministry ensured that at least 40 per cent of beneficiaries in any of its project were women and also made sure that programmes were targeted at training women in off season activities for revenue generation.
“We will continue to encourage active participation of women in the agricultural sector.
“Let me congratulate NACCIMA Business Women group for their unrelenting effort in promoting agriculture in Nigeria and usual collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture,” she added.