By Collins Nnabuife|Abuja
THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has restated the Ministry’s support for the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture.
The Minister made this known during a courtesy visit by the National Gender Steering Committee led by the Actionaid 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 people with disabilities, and access to input for women amongst others.
Dr Abubakar commended the Steering Committee for its achievement in creating 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 out of the 11 objectives of the policy which align with the mandate of the committee had been forwarded to the World Bank through the 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 median retreat to pay courtesy calls on the Honourable Ministers of Women Affairs, Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as a formidable strategy aimed at creating awareness on the policy for positive outcomes.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe commended the Country Director, Actionaid Nigeria, for accepting to provide leadership to this Committee on the implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture, and also the Executive Director Development Research and Project Center, Judith-Ann Walker for sponsoring the 2nd retreat of the Committee which will take place at Grace Point Hotel, Wuse Zone 6.
In her welcome address, the Director, Special Duties, of the Ministry Mrs Fausat Lawal represented by the Deputy Director (Special Duties), Akinrinlo Taiwo said that the focus of the Gender Policy on Agriculture was to mainstream women in the extensions services system, improve their responsiveness in Agricultural service delivery, integrate gender perspectives into Climate change and capacity of smallholder farmers on climate adaptation strategies.
In her remarks, the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ms Ene Obi said that the National Gender Policy was an assertive document, which recognized 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 for subsidized rates.
Ms Obi also pleaded to create a budget for small-scale women farmers to be able to access Central Bank of Nigeria, credit facilities at a single-digit rate.
In her presentation, the Assistant Director, Head Gender of the Ministry, Mrs, Ifeoma Anyanwu stated that the workshops on mainstreaming Gender into Climate Change were carried out in the six geoPolitical zones with about 1,000 women trained on mitigation and adaptation strategies against climate change and were given clean stoves.