By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has reiterated the commitment of the federal government to empower women to participate in farming in its efforts to make agriculture the economic backbone of the country.
Nanono gave the assurance in Gusau the Zamfara State capital during the flag off of the distribution of farm inputs, rice seedlings and other agricultural equipment to women farmers and other farmer groups for the 2020/2021 Dry Farming season.
The minister represented by the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Zamfara State, Prince Musa Raji said if more women engage in farming the desire of President Muhammad Buhari led federal government to revitalize the agricultural sector and make it the money spinner for the country will be realized.
He said 35 percent of the items are allocated to women to assist them improve on their farming activities.
“The inputs and rice seedlings are given as free grants to empower them and improve their income and also improve food security and at the end of the day Nigeria will be self sufficient in food production,” he said.
He called on the beneficiaries particularly the women farmers to make judicious use of the inputs and seedlings in order to have bumper harvest.
The Chairperson, Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria, Hajia Zainab Isah Arah advocated for more support for women farmers as they have the potentials to turnaround the agricultural sector to become the greatest contributor to the country’s GDP.
Hajia Arah commended the federal government for upholding the 35 percent affirmative policy which she said is encouraging more women to take into farming.
Earlier, the Zamfara state commissioner for agriculture, Dr Aminu Suleiman Yarkofoji said the state government will continue to create enabling environment for women farmers in the state.
The commissioner represented by the Project Manager, Zamfara Agricultural Development Project, (ZADP), Comrade Garba Bala said the state government is currently working out measures to ensure that farmers derived maximum benefits of dry farming in the state.
The Sarkin Noma of Nigeria, Alhaji Hassan Kwazo called on the federal government to increase the current 35 percent allocation to women to 45percent as women if given the opportunity can attain great feats in whatever endeavour they find themselves.
Some of the item distributed by the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development to the various farmers group includes 15 tonnes of rice seedlings, 100 water pumps machines, 10 maize thresher, 20 precision planters, irrigation kits, hand held motorized weeder and solar powered charcoal stoves.