• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Stakeholders task FG to prioritise safety of women farmers

Rivers women ready to crash food prices by 50% but beg for mechanisation

…as AFAN endorses newly-formed women’s association

Omolara Svensson, national coordinator and president of Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative (NWAPDI), has called on the Federal Government to give priority to the security and safety of women in agriculture.

The national coordinator made the call during the train the trainers workshop on the safety and security of women farmers drawn from the North Central Zone, which was held in Abuja.

Acknowledging the frantic efforts of the present administration to ensure food security in Nigeria, Svensson advised the government to place much premium on the capacity building of women farmers to guarantee their safety and security on their farms and processing plants.

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She stated that her organisation would organise training on safety and security for women in agriculture in all the States of the Federation, adding that the workshop had kicked off simultaneously in Abuja for the North Central Zone as well as in Lagos State for the South West Zone.

“The training became necessary because 42 per cent of the work that is done in NWAPDI is on safety and security.

“We discover that lack of safety and security orientation amongst our women from the farmers to the processors, to the traders, they lack the right knowledge and orientation about safety and security.

“The training today is targeted at the trainers. We have about 150 women here. The whole idea is that the Zonal, State Coordinators would take this training back to their wards and spread it and we will keep improving ourselves.

“The training is also going on in South West, taking place in Lagos State simultaneously and we are working next on South South, South East, North East and North West.

“It is high time we started paying more attention to the training of our farmers, food processors and everyone in the agricultural sector on the importance of security and safety on our farms and in our processing plants”, she said.

In an interview with newsmen, Harrison Ehimikhuai, chief of staff to Nigerian Regional Administrator, Occupational Safety and Health Association, explained that the essence of the training was to inculcate safety best practices in women agriculturists.

Ehimikhuai, one of the facilitators at the workshop, stressed the need for women to know how to use chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other farm implements to forestall injuries and fatalities on the farms and processing plants.

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Meanwhile, the leadership of the All-Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has endorsed and thrown its weight behind the newly-formed Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative (NWAPDI).

It will be recalled that last Tuesday, Omolara Svensson, national coordinator and president of NWAPDI, announced that NWAPDI had pulled out of AFAN over the issue of poor inclusion of women in AFAN’s activities as well as the lingering leadership tussle in the farmers’ umbrella body.

In a rare solidarity and support in Abuja during the train-the-trainers workshop on safety and security for women farmers drawn from the North Central Zone of the country, Arc. Kabir Ibrahim, President of AFAN, said women must be supported and encouraged to engage in agricultural productivity for national development.