Group seeks participation of more women in farming
A group, Women for Positive Change on Saturday urged agriculture stakeholders to promote programmes and policies that would attract more women to embrace farming as a business and vocation.
Mrs Bilikis Adedoyin, the group’s President, made the appeal during an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
Adedoyin said there was the need to change the peoples’ impression and wrong mindset that farming remained the exclusive preserve of the menfolk.
According to her, farming has become the credible alternative and the mainstay, irrespective of the tribe, culture, ethnic, religion or geographical background.
Adedoyin said there were many branches of farming, such as cropping, poultry, fishery, piggery, vegetable cultivation, which women could venture into and make the desired great impact.
She said that more women in agriculture would in no small measure assist to complement government’s efforts toward diversifying the nation’s economy.
“More women embracing farming will translate to high production, harvest and income.
“The government’s efforts toward tackling the challenges of food insufficiency across the country will also receive the desired boost.
“So whatever the circumstances, it will be very beneficial and a boost for our socio-economic development to attract more women to farming as a profession and vocation,” she said.
Adedoyin also urged government to beam its search light on the bureaucratic bottlenecks in accessing various government farming incentives, especially credit facilities.
“Farming is no doubt a capital intensive project, more importantly in achieving the desired high production level, harvest and income.
“From getting qualitative seeds to plant, to cultivation, insecticide application, irrigation during dry season, weeding, harvesting, post-harvest storage and transportation of products.
“The capital requirements is almost the same thing for most of the farm branches.
“So to be a successful farmer, you need to have access to those incentives from government which must be adequate, timely and devoid of these bureaucratic bottlenecks.
“This will go a long way to make farming very lucrative and a worthwhile venture most importantly for our womenfolk,” she said.
Adedoyin noted that the group recently embarked on advocacy visits and sensitisation to schools, markets and religious places, to encourage more women to embrace farming as a business and vocation.
She charged the management of agriculture-based universities in the country to institute and promote policies and programmes that would encourage and attract more female students to embrace agriculture courses.
“People still believe agriculture practices is for men alone which accounts for the low number of female students in most of the universities’ agriculture departments.
“Universities’ managements can bring up policies in form of incentives such as scholarship or tuition waivers for agriculture-related courses.
“Such development will, to a greater extent, make the female students to be more attracted to agriculture-related courses.
“It is not out place if we have a woman holding sway in agriculture-based appointment nationally or internationally or even as a minister of agriculture in particular, ’’ Adedoyin said.
Edited & Vetted By: Oluyinka Fadare/Adeleye Ajayi