The Nigerian government has announced its intention to empower 2,000 women from Jigawa, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kano, Anambra, Niger states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in agric business.
The plans were revealed by the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, during the kick off a two-day ‘Train the Trainers’ programme, held in collaboration with the CGC Nigeria Limited, at the Nigerian Agricultural Demonstration Centre in Ushafa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
The Minister hinted that the programme was designed to support women cooperatives that engage in profitable and sustainable rice production, in collaboration with Green Agriculture West Africa Limited, a subsidiary of China Geo-engineering Corporation (CGC).
She further noted that the pilot phase of the programme is expected to empower the women through the establishment and facilitation of cooperatives that would serve as mentoring platforms for aspiring women rice farmers, with apprentices constituting 50 per cent of the cooperative membership.
A statement by the Minister’s special Assistant, Ohaeri Joseph stated:
“As a gesture of support, the Managing Director of CGC, Mr. Wang Xiemin, has pledged to donate high-yield rice seedlings to the cooperatives once their lands are prepared.
“He also said the company will step up the collaboration on more agricultural trainings and other partnerships across various agricultural chains which will extend to peanuts, corn, cassava, vegetables and other agricultural products.
“The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs is optimistic that this programme will contribute to the economic empowerment of women and foster sustainable growth in agribusiness, while aligning with broader national development goals.
“As the programme progresses, it is expected to serve as a model for future initiatives aimed at empowering women in various sectors of the economy, driving positive change, and fostering inclusivity.”