By: Sunday Shekwonya
In an effort to boost agricultural production and ensure food security in the nation’s capital, Abuja, authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has pledged to continue to give full support to women involved in agricultural activities.
Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, made the pledge at the National Advocacy Forum, organised by Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) in conjunction with Action-Aid Nigeria in Abuja.
The Minister of State, who was represented at the event by the Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Ishaq Abubakar Sadeeq, added that the Forum was aimed at galvanizing greater women inclusion in agricultural policies and programmes for the purpose of sufficient food production in the country.
Dr. Mahmoud commended SWOFON for the critical role it has been playing in bringing women together not to just to earn sustainable livelihood through sustainable agricultural practices, but also by making meaningful contribution to food production.
She assured the women that FCT Administration will continue to pursue the implementation of initiatives that will empower and support women farmers across the six Area Councils; stressing that the Administration recognizes the invaluable contributions of women in agriculture.
Mahmoud added that trainings and capacity building are other critical areas the Administration will continue to give attention to, being part of effort to enhance the knowledge and skills of women in sustainable farming practices, crop diversification, post-harvest management, and marketing strategies.
Dr. Mahmoud expressed the readiness of the Administration to collaborate with genuine investors towards boosting the food production systems in the Territory.
Her Words: “Permit me to use this opportunity to assure you that under the ‘Renewed Hope’ Agenda of our dear President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the FCT Administration is ready to partner with genuine investors that are interested in adding value to agriculture in FCT”.
Speaking earlier, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, SWOFON, Mrs. Hannatu Yaro, acknowledged the FCT Administration’s support; noting that the organisation through its activities all over Nigeria has been in the forefront of advocacy for women farmers.
Mrs. Yaro called on government to do more in the capacity building of women in agricultural practices, as well as help in addressing the challenges of training, access to land and inputs.
Also, in his remarks, Mr. Kehinde Arowosogbe, who represented Action-Aid-Nigeria, congratulated the organisation for its achievements, stressing that the need for more inclusiveness of women in policies and programmes of government to achieve the desired quest for hunger reduction and food security in the country.
He encouraged all stakeholders, including agricultural organisations, civil societies, and private enterprises, to actively participate in initiatives that will contribute to the success of women farmers.