ICEHD in implementing the Climate Justice and Economic Resilience Project for Rural Women Farmers in Nigeria hosted a national civil society consultative forum with civil society organizations, farmers to strengthen the capacity of grassroots civil society groups to engage policy officials, publicly projecting women’s voices on climate justice and advocate agricultural reforms to advance women’s rights.
Stakeholders from the agriculture and environment sector have called for the domestication of the National Gender in Agriculture Policy (NGPA), to accelerate sustainable agricultural production to achieve food security. Stakeholders included the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS), International Center for environmental health and development as well as civil society organizations (CSOs).
They made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during the National CSO Advocacy Dialogue on the theme: “Climate Justice and Economic Resilience Project for Rural Women Farmers in Nigeria”, organized by the International Center for Environmental Health and Development (ICEHD).
Speaking at the event, Dr Ndudi Bowei said, women farmers accounted for 70 per cent of agricultural workers and 80 per cent of food producers but were at the receiving end of the negative impacts of climate change, and the fact that small scale women farmers were the hardest hit with climate change underscored the need for them to acquire skills in climate-smart agriculture, mitigation and adaptability, soil quality techniques, access to ownership and resources control and innovative farming technology.
Mrs Yetunde Aiyela, executive Director of Dot Connect International Foundation; Comparative Agriculture Commodity For Women And Youth further stressed that there is no synergy/intra synergy between the government and the NGOs meanwhile, they are meant to support and complement one another, so there is more need for the government agency to partner with CSOs and NGOs to further domesticate the National Gender in Agriculture Policy (NGPA) because ‘‘some of us write to them, go through these policy documents and we want to align ourselves with what they are doing and probably because they don’t know you or you don’t have a big name, they don’t go through your document”.
Dr stella Iwuagwu of Sustainable Demonstration Farms expantiated on the need to have a new concept of change. She said ‘‘I have to do a revision in my theory of change because we are what we eat, there can be no right to health without right to food” until we as an individual start eating right, before we can see the need to be a voice for climate justice.
Finally, Mrs Marian Olushola of Women Solidarity Initiative for Development urged civil society groups to go to rural communities to educate women farmers on entrepreneurship.
The event was well covered by media personnel who captured the events. They include AIT, NTA and Guardian newspapers. The women farmers expressed their joy for the support they received from ICEHD encouraging them to do more.