Nigerian government trains women farmers in financial literacy

Women are cultivating water leaves in Esin Ufot, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, on May 12th, 2014.
FILE: Women are cultivating water leaves in Esin Ufot, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, on May 12th, 2014.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday in Abuja began a training programme for 80 women picked from across the six geo-political zones.

The focus of the training is financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

The ministry’s Director of Extension, Karima Babangida, said the initiative is meant to give financial management knowledge to women in agriculture.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how The Nigerian government launched the National Gender Policy on agriculture.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, said it is time for women in agriculture to come out of their hiding places and make use of the opportunity.

Mr Nanono said the goal of the gender policy is to ensure equal opportunities and access to resources, services and agricultural programmes in Nigeria for all, as a means of providing economic security growth in Nigeria.

Speaking through the ministry’s Deputy Director of Gender and Youth, Sugra Mohammed, Ms Babangida said the training was also meant to teach them efficient business and personal finances management.

READ ALSO: Nigerian banks give only 4% of their loans to agriculture

Mrs Babangida said at the end of the training, certificates would be issued to the participants to enable them to access the Central Bank of Nigeria’s finance window.

“The certificate would make them eligible to apply for the Agric-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), one of the development finance windows of the Central Bank of Nigeria,’’ she said

She said the training would promote the Green Alternative, the Food Security and Nutrition Strategy 2016-2025, the National Gender Policy, the Sustainable Development Goal 5 and others.

Mrs Babangida said the Nigeria Financial Literacy Baseline Survey Report of October 2015 showed that rural people were often excluded due to factors including financial literacy.

“The survey also showed that the two most excluded segments called women farmers and microenterprises and impoverished marginalised rural women, depend on agricultural and agro-allied activities for livelihood.

“Women account for over 49 per cent of the estimated 200 million population of Nigeria and are major actors in the agricultural sector,’’ she said.

The director said women, who currently constituted about 70 per cent of agricultural labour and rural smallholder farmers, only have access to about 20 per cent of productive resources.

In her remarks, the President of the National Council for Women Societies, Hadiza Umar, said the training would facilitate women’s independence and help them in better management of their resources.

“This training is an eye-opener for women that want to go into business and are thinking of how to raise capital,’’ she said.

The Secretary of the Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA), Jima Mariatu, said the training will empower more women.

“This is not just how to raise capital, but how to manage the capital,’’ she said.

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