Ondo State First Lady, Other African Women Leaders, Chart Way Forward For African Women In Agriculture At AWA 2018 Summit

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THE wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who led a delegation of women from Nigeria to the 2nd edition of the African Women in Agriculture (AWA) Summit in Marrakech, Moroccoo, yesterday deliberated with other African women leaders and stakeholders across the globe on how to enhance profile of women in Agriculture for the attainment of the sustainable development goal (SDG). Gender inequality, poor access to loans, poor access to farm lands, poor gender inclusion in agricultural policies and governance, amongst other things, were highlighted as constraints inhibiting participation of African women in agriculture.

At the end of the sessions, stakeholders recommended the need for African leaders to formulate and implement policies that are gender inclusive and to consistently train women farmers especially rural dwellers on improved farming methods to maximize productivity.

In her address at the opening ceremony, the Patroness of AWA 2018, Mrs. Aissata Issoufou, First Lady of the Republic of Niger lauded the objectives of the summit to advocate for women’s empowerment through agriculture and promote national, regional and international integration among African countries.

Mrs. Angelle Kweno, Founder, Believe In Africa, described the African Women in Agriculture (AWA) Initiative as a high level annual dialogue between leaders from Africa and across the World to strengthen the role of women in the development of agriculture in Africa.

She also noted that the initiative is very important given the level of participation and engagement of African women in Agriculture which includes cultivation, harvesting, processing, distribution and marketing.

One of the highpoint of the summit was the success story of L and Z Integrated Farm limited, a Kano based company, co-founded by a woman, Mrs. Adija Zubaid Damakka, who shared challenges and solutions of managing a Dairy Farm that started with two Heifers, producing only five liters of milk a day and stands today, producing 3,000 liters of milk processed into L and Z yourguts and Ice cream sold across Nigeria.

Mrs. Ibidunni Ogunleye, a poultry farmer from Ondo State, Nigeria, in her presentation at the summit pointed out some of the challenges faced by women farmers in Nigeria.

Mrs. Ogunleye who shared her success story, encouraged other women farmers to show diligence and determination in their businesses and advised that farmers must understand the ecosystem in which they operate, make consultations with professionals to maximize their productivity.

Other presentations were from Prof. Zoubida Charrouf- Mohammed V University- Morocco and Mr. Patrick Andre – Founder Botanicosm Ethic, France centered on need for better inclusion and participation of women in policy development and implementation especially on gender-based and socio-economic issues to facilitate capacity building, economic prosperity and improved Nutrition and health outcomes.

Other highlights of the event include the delegation’s visit to National Initiative for Human Development, Cooperative Troisieme Millenaire, Rurale Bourous Province, Rhamna Region Marrakech-Safi, a centre that promotes self-help among rural women through the production of couscous for local and international markets.

Also the team visited the Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre equipped with state-of-art facilities that includes HD cameras, Acoustic studios, computerized lecture rooms and centralized internet routers. Gymnasium, Library, Museum amongst other places were also visited.

The second edition of the African women in agriculture (AWA) 2018 summit rounded off with conclusion that there is a need for better inclusion and participation of women in policy formulation and implementation especially on gender-based and socio-economic issues to facilitate capacity building, economic prosperity and improved Nutrition and health outcomes.

PHOTO 01: Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu (right], First Lady of the Republic of Niger, Mrs. Aissata Issoufou (left) and others during the second edition of the African Women in Agriculture (AWA), 2018 Summit in Marrakech, Morocco.

PHOTO 02: Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu (middle), with others during the Excursion and tourism tour to the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ben Guerir, Morocco.

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