Agency advocates women inclusion in green enterprises

By Eme Offiong, Calabar

A Canadian Agency known as Cuso International has sued for increased participation of women in green enterprises.

The resolution was made at the traditional rulers and local partners meeting in Calabar, Cross River State.

Abundant Potentials
Delivering a keynote address at the meeting, a Consultant Folusho Olaniyan outlined the potentials of Cross River State in agriculture development.

“There are latent business potentials in Cross River State’s abundant natural resources and opportunities for inclusive entrepreneurship development. Inclusive entrepreneurship is about attitudes, competences and skills, which allow people, especially women, turn their dreams into concrete projects,’’ Olaniyan said.

According to her,“Cross River contributes 12.5 percent to the national production of cassava, 1.9 in oil palm, 4.2 percent to rice production and 19.8 percent of its cocoa to the national average of 350,000 metric tons.”

Aquaculture and poultry
She stated that in aquaculture and poultry, Cross River has the ability to expand livestock by encouraging more women, particularly youths between the ages of 18 to 35 to venture into the sector.

 “Women should make their impact felt. Most women do the work at the bottom part of the pyramid and the returns are not high as at the top. So, they need education, they need to sharpen their skills to step up in the value chains and increase their income,” Olaniyan explained.

Gender Equality
On the objective of the campaign, the Team Leader of YOULEAD Project, Mr. Jerry Nwigwe said “we are launching the information campaigns to greater gender responsive and environmentally responsible practices in the natural resource sector in Cross River State. We want to try and galvanise many stakeholders to be advocates of gender equality.”

He said that progress towards gender equality in Nigeria had been slow stressing that empowering women is a key element for long-term sustainable development, economic growth, resilient societies and social advancement.”

The Country Director of CUSO International, Ebrima Sonko stated that “the main objective of this project is to ensure that there are employment opportunities for people in the natural resource, young people in particular, because the State is naturally endowed with abundant resources.”

This meeting informed traditional rulers and participants of the need to create jobs in a responsible way, where the environment is protected for future use and encourage equitable participation of women in the natural resources sector,” Sonko said.  

The forum, which attracted traditional leaders, farmers, members of the business community in Cross River State, also featured goodwill messages from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, as well as non-governmental agencies in partnership with CUSO International.

CUSO International is a Canadian organisation implementing YouLead, a five year project aimed at promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship in the natural resource sectors.

The theme is ‘Promoting Inclusive Green Entrepreneurship for sustainable economic growth’ and served to launch YouLead project’s information campaign.

Mercy Chukwudiebere