STRENGHTENING EXISTING AND EMERGING WOMEN MOBILISATION PLATFORMS AND SMALL HOLDER WOMEN FARMERS’ ASSSOCIATION IN NIGERIA (WOMEN LEAD AGRIC IN NIGERIA).
Nigerian women play important roles in food and agriculture, it is reported that women small holder farmers constitute 70-80 percent of the agric labour force. They produce the bulk of food for domestic consumption and they are the drivers of food processing, marketing and preservation. In spite of all these enormous tasks, they have limited access to land; credit facilities farm input training and advice, technology and crop insurance among other things. Women small farm-holders have just 14% holding rights on land where they farm, in spite of their strategic roles in food production, government agricultural hardly focuses on supporting them. It is estimated that if women had the same access to finance, land, technology, and training advice as men, they could contribute significantly to the achievement of the MDG one(1) of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
- The issues of women small holder-farmers cannot be separated from the border issues of gender equality and discrimination against women. Women are still voiceless in decision-making and policy issues.
- The project therefore intends to mobilize for greater participation of women to enable them lead the agricultural sector and also mainstream gender issues in policies and programs in Nigeria. The project hopes to engage State and National policies particularly the Agric Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the previous government among others.
- The project will focus on empowering women small holder-farmers and other women in agriculture for effective participation in the agric decision-making and leadership position through a demand for support system for women farmers within a holistic gender sensitive framework, project design and implementation agenda. The project covers 4 States which are: Benue, Enugu, Kwara and Osun.
- The goal of women lead-agriculture is to strengthen existing and emerging women- Moblilsation platforms and women small holder-farmers’ association for sustainable organizing for change and policy influencing in the agric sector.
- Strengthen the capacity of small holder women farmers association to demand for gender accountability in the agric sector.
- Improve small holder women farmers’ skill to engage policy makers for gender sensitive, policy and programs at state and national level.
- Increase public awareness of the gender-stakeholders and the general public.
WORKPLAN AND APPROACH:
CIRDDOC was expected to collaborate with WARDC in all relevant project activities in each cluster in Enugu State, with the small holder women farmers’ association. CIRDDOC was mandated to carry out the under-listed tasks:
- Facilitates advocacy meetings with policy makers, relevant change-agents and organizations that can contribute to the success of the project.
- Contribute to the identification of media outfits and personnel for the women led agric project
- Facilitate the identification and mobilization of women farmers’ group for trainings in formal and informal meetings.
- Act as linkage between WARDC and project beneficiaries and others in Enugu State and where applicable at national level.
- Support and achieve the goals and objectives of the project.
- Participate in all activities related to the project and engage in any emerging issues in the course of the project life.
Each cluster was expected to send in their monthly financial reports and provide receipts for expenses which must be related to the activities. A quarterly narrative report is also expected to be sent in by cluster on the activities undertaken with or on behalf of WARDC during reporting period.
WARDC has not been able to meet with the women farmers identified from the 17 LGAs of Enugu State. CIRDDOC with Mrs. Claire Asogwa who represented Enugu women small holder farmers, identified the women cluster-small farmers in the State after waiting for WARDC that promised to meet with the women in Enugu by September, 2015.
Based on our earlier scheduled activity, we decided to hold our first meeting on October 1st, 2015 with the women small holder farmers’ representative from LGAs.
Twenty (20) women small holder farmers attended the meeting. The outcome of the meeting was that they agreed to step down the objectives of the meeting to other women in their respective communities requesting WARDC/CIRDDOC to assist them to provide information and liaise with Enugu State Ministry of Agriculture to provide fund for them.