IWD: Feedifuture, Partners Applauds Women’s Participation in Agribusiness, Microenterprises in the Northeast

Kenny Folarin, Abuja

As Nigeria Joins the World to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day, the Feedifuture Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, Mercy Corps and other partners has applauded the role of women in agribusiness despite daunting challenges experienced in the Northeast Nigeria.

According to them, women in Northeast Nigeria continue to make up the majority of subsistence farmers, owing to lack of access to land, extension services, training, business development services, and financial inclusion opportunities that could significantly enable them to operate at higher levels of agricultural value chains.

They noted that the situation is being excerbated by prolonged insecurity and ongoing conflict in Northeast Nigeria, which continues to weaken local economies and cause thier displacements compounded by the already concerned sexual and gender-based violence that women face, as well as the religious and cultural beliefs that are barriers to women’s participation in market systems.

These challenges has resulted to high poverty levels, food shortages, unemployment, discrimination, and gender inequality; and in spite of them, the resilience Activity is proud of the role that women continue to play in Agribusiness and Microenterprises sub-sectors as the Northeast recovers from the effects of more than 12 years of devastating events.

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Meanwhile, the Chief of Party of the Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity, Mrs. Margarita Aswani while speaking on the theme: Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, noted that the Rural Resilience Activity has commenced the implementation of its Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) intervention aimed at fostering an inclusive Northeast Nigeria.

“We are incredibly proud to be working with such change agents, and with the men in their communities who are no longer gatekeepers, but gate openers, who support us and propel us to move our work forward in women’s economic empowerment”.

Aswani explained that through WEE, the Activity will continue to facilitate access to income generation opportunities and life chances such as skills development and opportunity for women to own assets.

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“Through WEE, the Activity will institutionalize demand-driven female-led platforms, such as the North East Women Economic Empowerment Network (NEW-EEN), and bring private sector, research institutions, government agencies, and civil society organizations together to enable market systems actors to continue sharing and disseminating learning, develop partnerships, promote investments and influence policies, practices, or regulations that address common barriers to inclusive growth and investments”.

She added that the Resilience Activity is also hosting a Media for Women Economic Empowerment Roundtable to co-create gender transformative messaging towards an inclusive society.

Aswani however call for stakeholders cooperation in building and promoting gender inclusiveness and growth in agribusiness.

“As we commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day, we call on policy makers, the media, private sector, civil society organizations and donors to join hands in building institutions for promoting accountability, gender responsiveness, and inclusive growth for women in the Agribusiness and Microenterprises sub-sectors”.

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