Stakeholders in the agricultural sector on Thursday, March 2, 2023, endorsed the Kaduna State Draft Gender Policy on Agriculture.
The endorsement was to ensure the adoption of a gender sensitive and responsive approach in the implementation of agricultural programmes.
The draft policy was developed by Legal Awareness for Nigeria Women (LANW) with support from consortium of International Non Governmental Organisations (iNGOs).
They include Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa AGRA; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, KFW, a German Cooperation, Rockefeller Foundation, UKAid and USAID.
Mrs Rebecca Sako-John, Member of the Board of Trustees, LANW, said at the opening of the validation meeting in Kaduna, the Kaduna State capital, that the policy would address existing gender gap and underfunding of the agricultural sector.
She said that the gender transformative agenda was to align the state’s agricultural policy with the National Gender in Agriculture Policy towards addressing the gender deficit in contributing effectively to food security.
According to Sako-John, said the domestication of the National Gender in Agriculture Policy will strengthen the state agricultural enabling policy environment.
She added that it would also support local governance and institutions to implement gender-sensitive policies and programming that would be responsive to the rights and needs of poor women farmers.
She noted that this was key to women’s empowerment.
“This is part of LANW efforts in the past 20 years to promote social justice for marginalised and vulnerable groups through legal awareness, protection of fundamental rights and facilitation of participatory development.
“LANW has also facilitated the formation of women smallholder farmer advocacy groups in Kaduna State to pursue issues like access to land, funds and other issues with relevant institutions.
“This was done under the Enhancing Resilience and Up scaling of Gender Inclusive Rural Economy for Increased Productivity, Livelihoods and Food Security programme,” she said.
Presenting the highlight of the policy, the Consultant, Prof. Muhammed Ladan, said that the policy sought to ensure gender consideration in the planning, programming, budgeting, and implementation of agricultural programmes.
This, he said, would avail women and people with special needs have equal access to, and control of productive resources and opportunities.
According to him, the step will contribute optimally to the food security and sustainable development agenda of the state as well as sustainable means of livelihood.
The Acting Executive Director, LANW, Mrs Hannatu Ahuwan, said the policy was developed under the Agra Gender Consortium in collaboration with the state Ministry of Agriculture.
Ahuwan said that the Agra Gender Consortium was made up of Value Seeds Ltd., Palm Valley and LANW, adding that the LANW role was to support the development of the draft policy.
She said that the meeting was organised to share and review the draft policy to ensure it adequately speaks to Kaduna state context, identify gaps, and make recommendations to improve the policy.
Mr Eche Oche, Field Agent, Value Seed Ltd., said that some of the responsibilities of the company was to ensure the recruitment of 50,000 women farmers and youth in Kaduna and Niger States.
Oche added that Value Seed was also expected to guide women on good agronomy practices, provide inputs and training to enhance women capacity to advocate for their rights.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Ibrahim Hassan said the policy would significantly improve agricultural production in the state.
Hassan, represented by Permanent Secretary, Mr Kabiru Mainasidi, said the policy would help in mainstreaming women and other excluded groups in agricultural programming in the state.
On his part, General Manager, Kaduna Agricultural Development Agency, Dr Abubakar Bayero, commended LANW and the AGRA Gender Consortium for the support.
Bayeto, represented by his Technical Adviser, Malam Dauda Musa, said that the policy would strengthen inclusion in the implementation of agricultural programmes in the state.
By Philip Yatai