By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
The Shefarmers Initiative, a platform for female farmers platform in Nigeria, has been inaugurated it’s FCT Chapter to increase agricultural productivity by supporting women farmers in the Territory.
The President of Shefarmers initiative, Mrs Kudirat Ande, while inaugurating the Advisory Board and members of the Executives in Abuja on Thursday, said that the platform was designed to empower African women in agriculture.
Ande, who was represented by the Vice-President 1, Samera Abdullahi, urged the FCT chapter to work towards creating an enabling environment for women farmers and female agricultural entrepreneurs.
Members of the inaugurated Board are Dr. Maimuna Habib was inaugurated as the FCT Coordinator while Dr. Asmau Adamu as Vice-Coordinator, and Hajiya Rakiya Mohammed as Secretary.
Other members of the executive are Mrs. Francisca Ihekandu as Financial Secretary; Ms Lucy Cebawaza, Treasurer; Dr. Regina Adulugba, Head of Projects; and Ms. Rebecca Ukpevo as Public Relation Officer.
Those inaugurated as Advisory Board are Mrs. Omolola Olanikpekun, acting Secretary, Area Councils Services Secretariat, FCT Administration; Ms Sarah Arieo, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics ACSS.
Others are Dr. Jummai Ahmadu, Director, Reform Coordination and Service Delivery, FCTA, and Amb. Zainab Mohammed, President, Women in Commerce.
Earlier, Hajiya Ladi Sulaiman, Coordinator, North Central, said that a minimum of 20,000 women farmers in FCT would benefit from the initiative yearly.
According to Hajiya Suleiman, the initiative was made up of women from different professions working together with a passion to improve the agricultural productivity of women at the grassroots.
She said that the goal is to improve agricultural productivity and to ensure food security in the country.
“The platform will train women farmers on home gardens to ensure that households eat purely organic food.”
“It also sensitizes women on new technology and innovations that improve agricultural yield and ensures a bumper harvest.”
She called on the Federal Government to consider Shefarmers platform as a critical partner in driving agricultural innovations and a channel to support women farmers across the country.
The National Patron of the group, Alhaji Aminu Pai, disclosed that the Shefarmers initiative was established on June 8, 2021, to provide support to women farmers to improve their farming capabilities.
Pai said this being achieved through access to reliable information on farm management, mechanized farming, grants, innovation and technology, empowerment, and financial literacy.
“All these services are aimed at increasing women’s production and income, which will hopefully improve their quality of life.”
Pai pointed out that women formed about 70 percent of the country’s agricultural labor force and contributed 70 percent of the country’s food production.
He decried that despite their contribution, they face significant discrimination in land and livestock ownership, participation in the decision-making process and access to credit and financial services.
“The FCT chapter of Shefarmers initiative will raise awareness amongst the women folk in the territory.”
It is also to identify with relevant stakeholders in acquisition of land, technical know-how on farm preparation, equipment, seeds, and other farming inputs to improve agricultural entrepreneurship, he said.
Acting Secretary, Agricultural Secretariat Mallam Abubakar Sadeeq, commended the initiative for coming up to add value to agricultural production.
Sadeeq, who was represented by Hajiya Umma Abubakar, an official of the secretariat, pledged to work with the group to improve agricultural production in the FCT.
Dr Ahmadu, one of the members of
the advisory board, said that the initiative would ensure that rural farmers, particularly women, get value for their farm produce.
According to her, Shefarmers is expected to be the voice of rural women farmers in the FCT.
Similarly, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa, Ona of Abaji and Chairman, FCT Council of Traditional Rulers, lauded the initiative and pledged the full support of the traditional council.