“Despite the huge labour investment of women, productivity is low and they often have limited roles in decision making on the farms.
Lack of ownership of land and other productive assets due to existing social norms has created a significant negative impact on the family income and the nation’s GDP at large.’’
Those were the words of Nigeria’s Country Director of the African Development Bank (ADB), Mr Ousmane Dore.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sunny Echono, has lent his voice to the issue of unfair practices against women in the agro sectors. He recently said;
“Women supply 70 percent of agricultural labour; 50 percent of animal husbandry related activities and 60 percent of food processing, yet they have access to only 20 percent of available agricultural resources.”
Our recommendation: The Federal and state Ministries of Agriculture should institute loan schemes to enable women purchase lands for commercial farming, agro equipment for large scale farming like tractors, fertilizer distributors, harvesters, etc.
If women supply 70% of agricultural labour, they should have access to a greater percentage of agricultural resources.
In the face of longstanding cultural norms inhibiting women’s access to agricultural lands, startup loans to enable women purchase their own lands from willing buyers are in order.
Protecting Our Women Farmers
Another serious problem women face on the aricultural sector is low sexual security. A lot of them are at risk of being raped in farms, especially if they go alone. A scan of the news shows that an alarming number of such incidents have been occurring.
One solution to this is to strengthen the protective, investigative, law enforcement amd ethical capacities of the Nigeria Police Force.