Development partners are seeking greater access to economic empowerment opportunities that would boost women’s earnings as well as strengthen institutional capacity for the implementation of gender equality policies.
It was the highlight of a consultative forum held by African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network Nigeria( AWARFA- N), which gathered representatives of the United States Agency for International Development(USAID), Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations(FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development(IFAD) to discuss financing support for domestic food production, reduction of food security challenges arising from economic, climate, and political uncertainties.
The forum also brought female livestock farmers facing similar challenges hindering more women from going into cattle rearing and mini dairy business.
Otto Vianney Muhinda, team lead (CTL), FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (FAO-ECTAD) said development support was critical to strengthen women-driven small and medium private-sector enterprises in livestock as they are an important key to sustainable prosperity in the economy.
Muhinda indicated that strengthening feed and fodder support was critical to Nigeria’s food supply and overall economy and women the difference by giving them greater access to financial resources, quality farming inputs and market access.
According to him, FAO acknowledges women’s work and that increased opportunities for them in the sector can significantly impact agriculture-driven growth.
Earlier, Chinyere Ikechukwu-Eneh, chairperson, AWARFA- N stressed that if the government wants to make great progress in its efforts to achieve the goals of the food security implementation plan, involving more women would be a bold step on the path of prosperity.
According to her, the ultimate aim of AWARFA-N- N is to reach a greater number of women and provide entrepreneurship opportunities for them.
She explained that the potential of the livestock industry is yet to translate into enormous business job opportunities, and that carries enormous implications, namely forfeited economic growth.
Addressing this gap, she posited will be the priority of the organisation’s engagement with international development partners in the bid to put the country on a sustainable path to economic recovery and prosperity.
Moving forward, she said the organisation will prioritize a comprehensive approach toward removing the barriers to women’s participation in agribusiness.
AWARFA-N is the Nigerian Chapter of the African Women in Animal Resources Farming and Agribusiness Network. AWARFA-N was established by the African Union Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources in Cairo, Egypt, in July 2018.
The members cut across the different value chains such as; dairy, poultry, aquaculture, apiculture, small ruminants, piggery and related crops that serve as raw materials for animal feed.
The objective is to identify investment opportunities for women-led enterprises in livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and apiculture value chains.