FADAMA, NANT Unlocking Rural Women’s Agric Potentials

The commencement of construction work on the cassava processing centre in Kwali Area Council is set to further unlock the potentials of rural women in the agric sector, JOHN OBA writes.

It is said that once women are empowered, the country is empowered, this saying was brought into reality when the National Association of Nigeria Traders (NANT) women wing supported by FCT FADAMA III launched construction of cassava recently, Women in agriculture Women play significant roles in agricultural growth in Nigeria, even as they face unrelenting obstacles and economic constraints that limit their contribution to the sector.

They have great potentials necessary to evolve a new economic order, to accelerate social and political development and consequently transform the society into a better one. Nigerian women are crucial factor for production, and are largely responsible for the bulk of crops production, agro-based food processing, and preservation of crops and distribution of outputs or products from farm centers to urban areas.

The importance of women in the development of agricultural cannot be overemphasized and this has led to the empowerment of more women in production and processing of various crops such as Cassava, maize and yam. But empowering women in agriculture using cassava which is a low risk crop with high yielding potential and a ready market for its sales according to expert is one of the most effective ways of combating and lifting women from poverty.

Cassava has been identified as a very powerful poverty fighter by driving down the prices of food available to millions of consumers. NANT, FADAMA intervention in Kwali There is no doubt that rural women across Nigeria engaging in cassava farming and production are faced with daunting challenges and that if these challenges are addressed, the women’s role in agriculture and food security may be improved.

With this in mind, the National Association of Nigeria Traders (NANT) Cooperative Society women wing participating in the FADAMA III additional financing (FADAMA III AF) implementation in the FCT with full funding support from FCT FADAMA III project moved to tackle some of these challenges commenced the construction of a cassava processing centre in Kwali Area Council of the federal capital territory (FCT). Mainstream women The FCT FADAMA III state coordinator, Alhaji Abdullahi Salisu, delivering his welcome address during the ground breaking ceremony in Kwali, noted that FADAMA has taken a significant step towards ensuring the mainstreaming of women groups into project implementation in the FCT.

He said the project further underlines the commitment of his office towards facilitating the development of the value chains of the crops it is supporting. “With the support provided to NANTS Cooperative Society for the setting up of this centre by FADAMA, the group will be able to add signifi cant value to cassava, this enhancing their competitiveness and increasing their income for improve livelihood. This is indeed a faint stride by the project in our efforts towards contributing to the attainment of domestic food security in FCT in particular and the country in general,” he said. Liberalising eligibility criteria FADAMA III national coordinator, Mr. Tayo Adewumi, who was represented by a director, Dr. Samuel Alabi, said FADAMA liberalised the criteria for participation especially for youth and women by integrating the funding of downstream agricultural activities such as processing, conversion of waste to wealth and marketing. “Additionally, the project provided further concessions by reviewing downwards the percentages of beneficiary contributions payable youth and women across funding component.

This is intended to serve as catalyst for triggering an upsurge in the participation of youth and women in project implementation. “I am delighted to inform you that this cassava processing centre whose foundation is being laid today, is one of several of such processing facilities being implemented by youth and women groups across the value chain crops supporter by the project nationwide,” he said.

The council’s chairman, Hon. Joseph Chanzi, who was represented by his vice chairman, commended the women for the initiatives saying his administration fully supports of the project promising that the council will be willing to give more land for more of such projects whenever the need arises. He said since 80 per cent of those living in the council are agrarian the project will help solve the problem of post harvest loses.

Unlocking potential in agriculture Addressing the gathering, the National Women Leader, National Association of Nigerian Traders, (NANTS) Mrs. Ruth Abraham Agbo, the launch is the beginning of a dream come true, as women in the community are poised to unlock their potential for Nigerian agricultural value chain.

According to her, “The survival, sustenance and continuing existence of any family, community, society or democracy is largely dependent on the economy and on the intangible effort of women. “MSMEs make up 96% of Nigerian businesses. About 70% are women, predominantly contributing over 70% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Hence every woman trader, including the grey haired is important to the nations’ economy,” she said.
She said NANTS women have established good working relationships with ministries, agencies and parastatals, one of which is FADAMA III Project both at the national and FCT levels. “In line with one of FADAMA III Project mandate to support youth and women become agro-preneurs and with the Federal Government Agricultural promotion policy (APP) or Green Alternative arrangement, has been on top gear to establish and give garri processing plant to our rural women traders. “Kwali Area Council women traders , just like many others parts of this country are faced with the challenges of processing ,packaging, preservation, storage and even standardization of the end product of their agro produce for consumption. Most of them don’t have shops.

“They are compelled to hawk on the streets in the scotching sun and heavy rains. Be that as it may, we are encouraged and determined that the sky is our starting point because; we have built a friendly marketing network between the rural and the urban through mini trade fairs and exhibitions within FCT.

Have embarked on capacity building programs with AFRICALEAD on women agri business entrepreneurs development; “Training with SMEDAN on packaging and labeling. Women trust fund on trade and solar energy and established NEPC, where NANTS women were also part of the SHE– TRADES, launched in Nigeria on July 13th 2016 in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC) for the development of women entrepreneurs in Nigeria–linking women businesses to the global supply chain,” she said. She said the expectation of NEPC is to connect 400,000 women traders in Nigeria to register in the global market by 2020. Adding that NANTS women can therefore form a product based cooperative society “where we will have a market HUB to make our products visible.

Kwali community will form one of our major HUB for cassava production and processing with assistance from FADAMA III Project. She commended the rural father, Etsu Kwali for giving the association the land for the project, and the council chairman for his prompt approval. Laying the foundation of the project, Etsu of Kwali, Alhaji Audi Shaban, commending FADAMA III for supporting the association said the project will impact positively on the community. “We are move by the spirit of the Federal government for establishing FADAMA III set up to alleviate the suffering of poor people in the rural communities by engaging them in so many agricultural practices.

That is why we embrace NANT with the project because at the end of the day my people will benefit tremendously in the cassava processing project, and this can open other doors for us in other aspect of agriculture. “We expect that this project will blossom and that slots of farming activities will be encouraged as my people will now focus more on cassava production and as you know an hungry man is an angry man so this project will help in solving some of these criminal activities in the area because most of them will be engaged and it will reduced the hand participating in crime,” he said.

Source: blueprint.ng

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