#ActionAid advocates more female Agric. Extension Workers

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The ActionAid Nigeria on Tuesday called for engagement of more female Agricultural Extension Workers to support and improve small-scale women farmers’ productivity especially in rural areas.

Mr Victor Adejoh, Programme Manager of ActionAid made the call at a two-day training workshop on “Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Resilience (SACR)” for members of Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), Kogi chapter in Anyigba.

Adejoh who is also the Executive Director of Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) said that ActionAid and PIBCID in collaboration with the state Agricultural Development Project (ADP) organized the training.

He said women farmers drawn from 25 farmers’ organizations were being trained to imbibe good agricultural practices with the practical learning experience and skills to effectively key into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the state and Federal Governments.

“Though more women than men are involved in agriculture, women have not received adequate agricultural extension services hence the need for engagement of more female agricultural extension workers to support and improve their productivity”, he said.

The priority of the SACR programme according to him includes food production, environmental conservation and long-term community resilience in order to reduce food insecurity at local levels.

He said that the programme also hoped to contribute to effective national and international climate change policies that support self-sufficiency and sustainable agricultural systems worldwide.

Prof. Dominic Akpa, Managing Director of Kogi ADP in his address commended PIBCID and ActionAid for the training saying the state government accorded special attention to women empowerment and poverty reduction through active participation in agriculture.

Akpa said the ADP, in view of the importance of women and the key role they played in family welfare and emancipation had created a special unit called Women-in-Agriculture to cater for them in the entire value chain “from food production to the table.”

The Manager, ADP Zone B Anyigba, Alhaji Abdul Sule decried what he termed: “Absolute marginalization of women by the men folk.”

Sule noted that gender occupational inequality was detrimental to economic well-being of the rural farm families and should be discouraged as he pledged to mobilize “real rural women farmers and not political farmers” for the training.