NWAPDI Calls On FG To Prioritize Security, Safety Of Women Farmers 

By Ene Okwanihe, Abuja 

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Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative (NWAPDI) has called on the Nigerian Government to give priority and attention to the security and safety of women in agriculture.

 

The call was at the Train-the-Trainers workshop on safety and security for women farmers drawn from the North Central Zone of the country, in Abuja Nigeria’s Capital.

 

While acknowledging the efforts of the present administration to ensure food security in Nigeria, the National Coordinator and President of NWAPDI Farmer Omolara Svensson called on the government to pay attention to capacity building of women farmers to guarantee their safety and security on their farms and processing plants.

 

She disclosed that her organisation would organise this training for women in agriculture in all the States of the Federation, adding the workshop had kicked-off simultaneously in Abuja for North Central Zone as well as in Lagos State for Southwest Zone.

 

According to her, “The training became necessary because 42 per cent of the work that is done in NWAPDI is on safety and security.

 

“We discover that lack of safety and security orientation amongst our women from the farmers to the processors, to the traders, they lack the right knowledge and orientation with regard to safety and security.
“The training today is targeted at the trainers. We have about 150 women here. The whole idea is that the Zonal, State Coordinators would take this training back to their wards and spread it and we will keep improving ourselves.
“The training is also going on in Southwest, taking place in Lagos State simultaneously and we are working next on South South , Southeast, Northeast and Northwest.
“It is high time we started paying more attention to the training of our farmers, food processors and everyone in the agricultural sector on the importance of security and safety on our farms and in our processing plants.”

 

AFAN ENDORSEMENT 

 

In another development, the leadership of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has endorsed and thrown its weight behind the newly formed Nigeria Women for Agricultural Progressive and Development Initiative (NWAPDI).

 

AFAN President Arc. Kabir Ibrahim, who was speaking during the Train-the-Trainers workshop on safety and security for women farmers drawn from the North Central Zone of the country, in Abuja Nigeria’s Capital said women must be supported and encouraged to engage in agricultural productivity for national development.

 

Speaking against the backdrop of the pulling out of NWAPDI, Ibrahim underscored the need for all well-meaning Nigerians to support women farmers to boost food production and achieve food security in the country.

 

 “I am glad that women are coming together. They are focused. Women in agriculture are reliable and credit-worthy.
“They will carve a niche in agriculture. Everybody will look for them. AFAN will also look for them.
“This people are farmers. AFAN is the umbrella body of all farmers in Nigeria. We know that women must be encouraged to do agriculture in Nigeria.”

 

Also speaking, the National Coordinator and President of NWAPDI, Farmer Omolara Svensson, described the endorsement and support of her organisation by AFAN as a welcome development.

 

Svensson explained that the withdrawal of NWAPDI from AFAN was borne out of the need to boost agricultural productivity in Nigeria as well as involve women in the agricultural sector, spanning production, processing, trade, and commerce.

 

She further assured that her organisation would collaborate with AFAN when it resolves its lingering leadership tussle in a bid “to ensure food sustainability in Nigeria and ensure that everyone in the agricultural sector could earn a decent living and ultimately, make agriculture the main source of wealth in Nigeria and Africa.”

 

It would be recalled that last Tuesday, Omolara Svensson, National Coordinator and President of NWAPDI, announced that NWAPDI had pulled out of AFAN over the issue of poor inclusion of women in AFAN’s activities as well as the lingering leadership tussle in the farmers’ umbrella body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oyenike Oyeniyi

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