Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) calls on Osun State Government to support women efforts in Agric as she launches her Women Lead in Agric Project in the State supported by the USAID, Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement.
Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) calls on the government of Osun State to support women’s small holders farmers efforts in food production and poverty eradication by providing gender friendly policies that will make their contribution more visible and sustainable.
According to the Executive Director of WARDC in person of Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, ‘between 70–80 per cent of the agricultural labour force in the state are women smallholder farmers. They also produce the bulk of food for domestic consumption, in spite of this, these women farmers have limited access to credit facilities, farm inputs, training and advice, technology, crop insurance when compared to their male counterparts. However the women smallholder farmers have just about 10% holding right on the lands on which they farm.’
She argues further that ‘ the policies and laws have remained patriarchal and does not encourage or promote equal access to resources, decision making and benefit accruing from improved agricultural system in the country. Agricultural practice is changing and becoming more technologically sophisticated, commercially oriented with global integration (globalization) and climate change variability. We therefore call on the government to work the women to halve poverty and mitigate and adapt to the effect of climate change.’
We therefore state that unless the gender gap in agriculture is addressed holistically and women’s voices are heard in decision making so that they will benefit like men in the profession that employs more than half of their population. It is estimated that if women had the same access to finance, land, technology and training and advice as men they could contribute significantly to the country achieving the goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The issues of the women farmers however cannot be separated from the broader issue of gender equality and women empowerment.
Women are still voiceless on issues affecting them directly; there are little or no involvement of smallholder farmers in local, states and national decision-making and policy issues.
WARDC therefore launch a Women Lead Agric Project in four states, to support women organizing for leadership and voice accountability in agricultural sector.
Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi
– See more at: http://www.wardc.org/press-release-wardc-calls-for-government-support-for-small-holders-women-farmers-in-osun-state/#sthash.YVF7oGro.dpuf