Dr Ousmane Dore, the Nigeria Country Director, African Development Bank (AfDB), stated.Nigerian women contributed close to 70 per cent of agricultural workforce, yet got less of accruing returns.
Dore stated.this at the launching of African women in agriculture report titled: ‘Economic empowerment of African women through equitable participation in agricultural value chains’ today in Abuja.
He stated.the report aimed at contributing to the economic empowerment of African women in agriculture, through identification and proffering of possible solutions to hindrances to women’s active participation in agricultural value chains.
“In spite of their (women’s) huge labour investment, productivity is low and they often have limited roles in decision making on the farms.
“Lack of ownership of land and other productive assets due to existing social norms has created a significant negative impact on the family income and the nation’s GDP at large,” Dore stated.
He stated that the bank recognised crucial role of women in economic growth and sustainability in Africa.
As stated by Dore, the bank’s 10 years strategies (2012-2022) had placed high emphasis on gender equality and mainstreaming as prerequisites for African economic transformation.
He stated that the report had examined how AfDB and partners could sustainably and proactively support African women by developing unique tailor-made projects for women-led and women-dominated businesses in agriculture.
Dore stated.that the entities included support for trade, investment and integration of African women in agriculture value chains.
“In Nigeria, women make up to 50 per cent of the total national population and so any meaningful development must take them into reckoning and fully integrated into the equation,” he also stated.
Special Envoy on Gender, Mrs Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, stated.that agriculture was a critical sector on the continent, accounting for 60 per cent of employment.
Fraser-Moleketi stated.that women’s presence in agricultural labour force was significant at 50 per cent, therefore there was no better overlapping opportunity to support their economic empowerment and strengthen a critical sector on the continent.