The Ministry of Women Affairs has indicated possible negotiation with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the collateral used in granting loan to women, saying a situation where certificate of occupancy is demanded as collateral from women who cannot even afford to buy a land is worrisome.

This is coming as the CBN is expected to disburse N250 billion repayable loan to women through the promotion of small scale industries in the country.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ezekiel Oyemomi said while receiving the leadership of the Women’s Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) in his office that the loan has not been assessed for years due to the huge collateral being imposed by the banks.

He said chief among the tools to be used in poverty eradication include agriculture, adding that the ministry had several programmes in collaboration with the Ministry of Agric and water resources to help women farmers.

While assuring WARDC of the ministry’s willingness to partner with it, he urged the organisation to ensure that its project reach women at at the grassroots.

He said the ministry was carrying out a review of the challenges facing women farmers particularly in accessing micro credits and will do a letter to the CBN to suggest the way forward.

The Executive director of the WARDC, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi called on the Federal Government to support women small holder farmers in the country by providing gender friendly policies that will make their contribution more visible and sustainable.

She said women farmers have limited access to credit facilities, farm inputs, training technology and crop insurance compared to their male counterparts in the country, and also have just about 10 percent on the lands on which the farm.

“Women are still struggling to be heard on issues affecting them directly. There are little or no involvement of small holder women farmers in local, states and national decision making and policy issues in agric sector,” she said.

She said WARDC has launched a USAID supported project called Women Lead Agric to support small holder women farmers in organizing for leadership and voice accountability in the agricultural sector.

While urging government to work with women to halve poverty, mitigate and adapt to the effect of climate change, Akiyode-Afolabi said there is need to holistically address the gender gap in the agricultural sector.

Acting Director, Economic Services Department of the ministry, Olowoofoyeku Olusoji said food processing is primarily done by women and it is an area that be mechanized for the development of women.

He said the ministry was working with that of Water Resources ministry on engaging women in irrigation farming adding that the maintenance of simple technologies with gender perspectives is important.

– See more at: http://www.wardc.org/ministry-of-women-affairs-wants-cbn-to-review-collateral-for-granting-loan-to-women/#sthash.DI1kcLjD.dpuf