To tackle climate change and mitigate its effect on food production, the Federal Government, on Monday, flagged off the training of over 150 women farmers in the South-East geopolitical zone.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, flagged off the initiative at the 4th edition of the South-East regional workshop on ‘Gender Mainstreaming, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Women Farmers’ in Owerri, Imo State.
Represented by the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Imo State, Chris Iwuchukwu, the minister said the training follows the policy thrust of the 2019 National Gender Policy, hinged on gender equity and equality for optimum productivity in the agricultural sector.
Abubakar stressed the impact of women farmers in different value chains, noting that women constitute about 80 per cent of the labour force involved in agricultural production, and grow up to 80 per cent of the food in Nigeria.
He said: “Nigeria’s agriculture is most vulnerable and susceptible to the impacts of climate change. Indeed, it is rain-fed dependent.
“Any change in the weather pattern, in terms of the amount, intensity, duration, and the on-set, duration affect farmers’ decisions on when, what, and where of the crops and inputs as well as other cultural operations in the value chain.
“Climate change and variability affect particularly women who constitute the most vulnerable among the farming communities. Available statistics indicate that women constitute about 80 per cent of the labour force involved in agricultural production, growing up to 80 per cent of the food in Nigeria.
“Overall, they constitute about 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. Yet, women, farmers face various challenges and needs, especially climate change and variability, access to information and technologies.
“This ultimately would ensure commitment to gender mainstreaming at all levels of the agricultural sector, which is seen as a tool for achieving gender-based reforms and increasing productivity by men and women along all the value chains in the sector.
“The workshop is targeted, innovative and timely when viewed from the outcomes of the recent 2021 COP 26 climate change conference held in Glasgow, United Kingdom.”
Meanwhile, the over 150 women farmers at the workshop were from Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and the Anambra states, and received clean stoves and starter packs.