The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu was honoured as the Cluster Advocacy Change Champion at the inauguration of Agric Gender friendly Policy Development Technical Working Group which took place at the Winners Guest House, Akure.
The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Akeredolu has affirmed that there are significant inequalities between women and men in many societies and stressed that though women make up about 75 percent of agriculture workforce, yet they are highly marginalized.
Arabinrin Akeredolu further used the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges faced by women farmers’ as including consistent reduction in the budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector in the last 7 years, non-capture of support for smallholder farmers as a line item in the ministry of agriculture budget, lack of state gender friendly policies among others, lauding the administration of Arakunrin Akerdolu for identifying agriculture as one of its major cardinal programme for job creation and economic prosperity.
Stating that the government has initiated strategic programmes such as Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) and Development and Policy Implementation Committee report which is in line with the goals of Sustainable Development Goals towards eradicating poverty and the Agro-Women Initiative is the first time ever that a line item in the agriculture budget is dedicated to support small holder farmers by the state government.
While promising to provide the needed supports towards ensuring that the initiative succeeds, Mrs. Akeredolu thanked USAID/PIND and LAPDO for supporting the development of agriculture in the state which is geared toward closing the gender gap.
Mrs. Bose Eitokpa, the Capacity Building Manager of Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) Foundation in her goodwill message observed that the cluster partners being inaugurated is the first of its kind in Ondo State.
According to her, the aim of the initiative is to encourage gender inclusive agriculture and solicit inputs that will go a long way in achieving a legacy of sustainable peace and development among communities in the Niger Delta.
In his analysis, the Consultant, Kazeem Balogun who explored Research findings on supportive environment for women farmers in Ondo State explained some of its findings in terms of policy and budget allocation.
In terms of policies, he observed that only 35% of women farmers benefited from one of the numerous empowerment of government and that 82% of women farmers acknowledged benefiting from NGO support programmes as government policies did not make room for people with disability.
While also noting that there has been no clear cut policy on agricultural financing, he however recommended the need for a new agricultural policy that will give room for new trends and also for deliberate investment to enable capacity building of farmers.