The Federal Government on Thursday distributed agricultural inputs to women smallholders farmers in North-Central states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, who carried out the distribution exercise in Abuja, said the move was to increase production and reduce wastage in the sector.
He said the distribution of inputs to 7,500 women smallholders and processors was part of government’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the agricultural sector.
He said, “I have deliberately undertaken initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowerment of women.
“This is in line with the targets set in our Economic Sustainability Plan, Agric Gender Policy, National Gender Action Plan for Agriculture, Agricultural Sector Food Security and Nutrition Strategy Documents aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women.”
Nanono stated that the ministry and its research institutions were working towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in good quality seed and its availability to farmers as a foundation for attaining food and nutrition security as well as industrialisation.
“We are making concerted efforts to improve rural infrastructure such as rural roads, boreholes, irrigation facilities, solar lights, markets, etc, that are enablers for improved agricultural performance for our farmers and processors active in the rural space,” he stated.
The minister stated that other value-chain supports were also advanced that would invariably contribute to the attainment of government’s desire to ensure easy access to quality food and nutrition by Nigerians.
“Today, the ministry is supporting about 7,500 women with value kits such as planting materials, growth enhancers and agro-chemicals in yam, cassava, potatoes, soybean, rice, maize, sesame, ginger, sorghum/millet, cowpea and horticultural crops,” Nanono said.
He stated that additional nutritional value kits would be distributed to the women, adding that the choice of the crops was based on comparative advantage to its production.