The Executive Director, Mothers and Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre), Mrs Ola Onyegbula, has said women constituted the key agents of change in agriculture, nutrition and rural development.
This, she said at the 2-day Capacity Building Workshop for Socio-economic Development of Ngwo Women (right holders) organised by MAMA Centre in Ama Achara community, Ngwo Enugu state.
According to her, while the global community works toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG2, which aims to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030, better access to information, training, and technology are paramount to support women in enhancing food production and consumption so that land and resources are used sustainably.
She said: “With the increasing number of female-headed households, as the primary caregivers to families and communities, women provide food and nutrition.
“Given critical research on the significant roles of women in Nigeria Agricultural production, processing and utilisation, we have observed that efforts of women in enhancing sustainable food production in commercial quantity for greater comparative advantage are constrained by the existing socio-economic barriers arising from inadequate or lack of technically know-how capacity, lack of modernisation, poor networking for sales and distribution both within and outside Nigeria, and little research capacity.
“This workshop aimed at opening up the women to existing financial opportunities they can leverage as they work towards enhancing their palm oil production capacity, while galvanising policy advocacy for the provision of modernised tools for standardisation and value-added commercialisation.”
Speaking at the workshop, Mrs Ogochukwu Ozoagu representing Enugu State Small and Medium Enterprise, encouraged the women to leverage available opportunities through formation of well-coordinated community cooperative union in fund raising to boost their palm oil productivity.
Commenting during the session, Mrs Chidiebere Asadu, a right holder, explained that the workshop was an eye-opener, while the lessons learnt would be deployed by women in the formation of community cooperative as an enabling platform in fund-raising for improved palm oil business.
The right holders at the end of the Workshop unanimously agreed to the formation of Community Cooperative to be supervised by MAMA Centre.