According statistics, he says that in Africa, about 80 percent of agricultural production comes from small-scale farmers who are mostly women. Even though women make up the largest percentage of the labor force in the agricultural sector, they still face challenges such as lack of adequate finance, limited access to land and other deprivation factors. production and critical resources.
This financing gap in the agricultural sector has prompted women smallholder farmers in the country to ask the government to design a specific budget that takes care of agricultural needs that will improve their productivity.
Speaking at the Capacity Building Workshop to Reposition Women Smallholder Agribusinesses, the National Treasurer of Women Small Scale Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), Ms. Hannatu Soni, addressed the government on the need to include women in the agricultural budget. allocation.
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In his words, “We are advocating for a specific budget for women because it would make it easier to track the destination of the funds. The government can help us by linking us to the appropriate markets and also by providing the equipment used for the processing of the products. We want to be empowered to transform our products that will add value to our products, thus having more income to take care of our families”.
Having noticed the unfair gender gap in the country’s agricultural sector, in a bid to close the $15.6 billion gender funding gap, Nigerian fintech company HerVest, founded by Solape Akinpelu, is on a mission to empower women farmers in the country.
In addition to providing credit financing to women farmers in Nigeria, HerVest is currently partnering with different CBN-licensed platforms, such as flutterwave, VFD Microfinance Bank and FBN QUEST, enabling the start-up to operate a easy to use digital platform for saving and investing.
Interestingly, HerVest has reached over 5,000 women farmers in the various states of Nigeria, with continued efforts to onboard more women farmers across the country.
Indeed, thanks to her support, many women farmers, who contribute more than 70% of Nigeria’s food production, can produce more and ensure good food security in the country. It is truly disheartening that women in the country are facing a financing gap in the agricultural sector, while experts have said that women farmers are the backbone of the development of rural and national economies as they make up 43% of the global agricultural workforce. Obligate.
It is high time that these sexist prejudices are abandoned because women are the majority actors in the agricultural sector. Research has shown that women hold more traditional knowledge about the water coping mechanisms of traditional farming practices that can improve crop yields and help farming activities adapt to adverse conditions such as floods and others.
Therefore, the insufficient funding of women farmers in the agricultural sector will undoubtedly affect the food production in the country, which could be catastrophic for the country in the event of a food crisis. According to the popular saying, “what a man can do, a woman can do better”, indeed women according to statistics have proven that they are even capable of supplanting male farmers.
Such an unbalanced gender funding gap in the agricultural sector in Nigeria will only further harm the national economy as these women face unnecessary constraints that reduce productivity. No wonder the sector continues to underperform.
Women around the world are already making remarkable strides in agriculture, transforming agriculture into more resilient and reliable agriculture. Appropriate allocation of funds to women farmers in Nigeria will not only increase food production in the country, but also ensure food security, which will insure the country against food crises.