The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to the socio-economic empowerment of People With Disabilities (PWDs) and Women in the agricultural sector to mitigate climate change.
Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this at a workshop on Mainstreaming Gender into Climate Change on Thursday, October 6, 2022, in Abuja.
He said that the initiative would also eradicate poverty in the country.
Umakhihe was represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture and Extension Services, Mr Frank Kudla.
He said that this was a prerequisite for eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable human development.
”The thrust of this workshop therefore is to build the skills and competencies of People with Disabilities on mitigation and adaptation strategies to address climate change and its impacts.
”This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG13).
”The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is committed to the socio-economic empowerment of People with Disabilities and Women in the sector.
”This is through the National Gender Policy on Agriculture as a prerequisite for eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable human development.
Umakhihe said the inauguration of the National Gender Steering Committee for the implementation of the policy, has demonstrated the ministry’s commitment to the concerns of people with disabilities and women in the agricultural sector.
He said that climate change was a lasting variation in the global climate in response to natural and/or human factors and has devastating effect on agriculture.
“Impacts of climate change, such as drought, floods, extreme weather events, reduced food and water security,” he said.
He said that the loss of agricultural lands affect men and women differently, with women and people with disabilities being the most vulnerable group.
Earlier, the Director, Special Duties, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Fausat Lawal, said that the effect of climate on agriculture could not be emphasised.
”Climate change has a devastating effect on agriculture and negative impact on small holder farmers including People with Disabilities.
”Consequently, there is need to mainstream gender into climate change which implies assessing the implications for women, men including people with disabilities of any planned action.
In a Good will message, Mr Jake Epelle, Albino Foundation, who commended the ministry, appealed to all stakeholders to include PWDs in whatever they do.
”My appeal is, include PWDs in whatever you do, there is always space for us,” he said.
He urged the PWDs to maximise whatever the ministry was doing for them and ”refuse to be second fiddles”.
Clean stoves were presented to the participants by the permanent secretary.
By Doris Esa