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Agric: Women Lack Adequate Training - Report

A

report released by the

City and Guilds Centre for Skills Development (CSD) has stated that

women do not have the oppor-

tunity to gel appropriate training in the area of agriculture

even though tlley playa major role in global food security. The report made avai lable to THISDAY last week said over half of the worlds agricultural

By Crusoe Osagie to

respond successfu IJ y to the key challenges they face such as low literacy levels and multiple domestic obligations. and demonstrates the appropriate

training that needs to be implemented," the group said. The report says researc h

producers are women. yet men

shows that giving women

slill receive more and better

farmers the same inputs and

training.

education

It stressed that there is need for agricultural and enterpri se trainjng for women smallholders to ensure poverty is reduced in developing countries. ''Train ing for Rural Development Agriculture and

Enterprise Skills for Women' is the first report issued by the CS D th at focuses on rural development. 'It in vestigates the kinds of training that

as

men

could

Ghana, the report makes key

prise training must be com-

report , which contains excel-

age policy makers and devel-

lent . practical suggestions for projects on how to approach

opment agencies to put more effort into focusing on women

to suit women. The recommendations pro-

bined with access to technology. We believe tl,e report provides project leaders throughout Ghana - and , indeed, in

agriCUltural workers. We think more funding should go to that

pose a more focused approach

other countries - with practical

the serious challenges faced by women in rural Africa , will. we are sure, playa significant

to training, ensuring that women are engaged effectively in projects. use existing community struclures, intro-

and clear solutions to some of the big . challenges that,

duce new skills in manageable stages and work wi th local government structures to

ensure long term change. Commenting on the report,

increase yields by 20 percent. The report added tl13t women

spokesperson, Justice Amoall,

co ntinue to receive onl y a

Agricul tu re. Central Reg ion said: "The City & Guilds for Skills Centre

small proportion of the appropriate training compared to men. CSD's report has been launched in response to growing concern around lack of skills development for women

smallholders. By bringing together existing literature on

the challenges women face and drawing oul lessons from

successful projects in India and

Director,

D irectorate

of

Development's report , for Rural Training Development. provides some

excellent examples of good work by projects in rural

Ghana . CSD has explained the critical Importance of understanding women's needs,

and how agricu lture and enter-

'IITA Research's Yielding Positive Results' igeria 's Technical Sub

N

Commiuee has said that tlle resem-ch outputs by the Ibadan-based

Intemational Institute of Agriculnlre and its national partners are yielding positive results in the country and other parts of sub-Saharan

Tropic~ 1

Africa . 1lle committee which certifies and assesses the performance of released crop varieties

in the country noted that improved varieties developed by IITA had contributed significantly in raising crops' yield and increasing farmers' incomes. 'This has consequently, earned Nigeria the position of not only the lrugest world prodUGer of cassava but has also resulted in significant gains in maize, yams, soybean. plantainlbanana and cowpea production," it said. " The IITA improved varieties are performing well in Fanners' fields because breeding has always been targeted at particular ecological zones and specific production constraints relating to pests and diseases. For example, maize varieties that are drought-tolerant are targeted for the drought-prone regions, while stemborer-resistant varieties make it possible for maize to thrive in the southeastern zone of tlle country where stemborers are a major challenge," said Prof. Peter Oyekan, Chairman, Technical SubCommiuee of Crop Varieties Release in Nigeria. 路'Others are high yielding cassava varieties , improved

, hybrid yam varieties, Striga and Alectra resistant cowpea and soybean rust-resistant varieties.

All these are doing well and

increased access to poor alternative food types, UNIDO has

report, an Africa 2000 Network spokesperson Adisa Yakubu, Executi ve Director said: . "11,e Africa 2000 Network is hard at work in countries across Africa to help improve people's li ves, and wome n smallholders are a major target group for us. We

ple, recently ran training ses-

sions that fou nd illiteracy and low education levels to be a major issues in tenns of learn-

ing skills such as record keeping and managing finances. One tra iner said: "The women find it difficult to man-

age money - they forget what

in CSD's vital research into how projects can help women

comes from where. By organising training to manage businesses as a group, the women become accountable to each other and overcome this barrier."

smallholders to improve their lives, and those of tlleir fami-

By address ing the challenges that women smallhold-

lies and communities. The

ers face, training ultimately

have been happy to playa part

not for profit research and

development body which is committed to improving the policy and practice of work related education and training internationally. It aims to achjeve its vision of a world in

which a11.. people have access to the skills they need for economic and individual prosper-

ity. To do this, it works worldwide with pol icy makers,

employers. training providers and learners to share knowledge and he lp to lead the debate on policy and practice.

On plans by Nigeria to fas t track the release of varieties, Oyekan said Nigeria had cut tlle time taken to release improved varieties to fanners from about five years to between two and three years. The Director/Chief Executive Officer, National

Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB, Mr. Wasiu Odofin, said collaboration between the two institutes would create synergy that would belter research and improve efficiency in the use of resources. He called for a closer working relationship with IITA especially in the conseIVation of tl,e counbis genetic resources He commended IITA for the capacity building offered to Nigerian scientists and called for more of such opportunities in the future. In his words. ''NACGRAB is building its core scientists and we need IITA support to strengthen our capacities."

IITA Deputy-Director, Research, Dr. Paula Bramel while receiving tlle delegation. reiterated the institute's goals of reducing poverty in Africa . She also said the institute remained open to partnerships as part of its strategy aim at improving tl,e li velihoods of fanners.

IlOUS nash dryer technology for processing. cassava in 0 )'0 State

Nigeria on a1temati.ve use of cassava. processmg and

have been involved in it." Also commenti ng on CSD's

lenges more effecti vely" . The City & Gu ilds Centre for Skills Development is a

dissemination of improved varieties.

of Ni2eria . A "'grant !<iigning ceremony. organized for the Govenunent of Japan and the NGO by UNlDO, was held at tl,e United

of Japan

are

farmers had been high and impressive but added that tl,e govemment needed to support the路seed indusoy to promote the

Organization (UNIDO). the GOVCllllllCl1t

smallholders

area and we also need to see projects using those funds to approach training and chal-

UTA improved varieties by

he United N,u ions Industrial [k\'c!lopmen t

and tlle NGO Ifelodun Cassava Pmcessing ClCS are collaborating to implement a proj.."Ct in

women

struggling with. It is an excellent contribution to the effort to help women smallholders, and we are very pleased to

role in helping projects to share know ledge and meet those challenges." Trainers from the Ghanaian Minis try of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) for exam-

tl,ey are making it possible to increase agric production." he added Oyekan. said the adoption of

Japan, UNIOO to Improve Cassava Processing in Nigeria

T

Kathleen Colleu. one of the report's authors, said "With this report we want to encour-

recommendations for trainjng

going forward that is taiiored empower rura l women

becomes more effective.

Nations House in Abuja. UNTDO will facilitate the collaboration arrangement between the Government of

said.

Japan and the NGO and

The UN agency said the focus is to develop an indige-

implementation of the project,

pr0-

vide technical assistance in the

Manager, 1lotel, Mr, David Kliegl, Winner of Hotel Casino Beta Follow, Mr, Aderemi Adeniran and. the Marketing Manager Special Projects, of the hotel, Mrs Karon Rothshild, during the presentation of a Kia Car to tire winner of the Beta Follow Promo held in Lagos ... recently PHOTO: Sunday Adigun .

FG Seals $400m Contract with Chinese Firm he Nigerian Agricultural, Cooperative and Rural Bank Development Limited (NACRDB) has finalised arrangements to seal a $400 million deal with China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporntion (CMEC) that will enable the chinese agency sUJ>ply 10.000 lrllCtors to farmers in Nigeria. Chainnan of NACRDB , Chief Gordon Bozimo who

T

made the statement at a stake-

holders meeting, s,tid the move is expected to result in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the supply of equipment. He stressed tllat the agreement entai ls the supply of machinery and equipment and aller sales product stewardship commi tment by the manufacturers. According to Bozimo. the

10.000 traciOrs will be made available on soft tenn loan basis to fannen; across the COUlltry.

Bozimo explained that the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources will provide

25 percent subsidy on the cost of

By Kunle Aderinokun the machinery and equipment. '"The Chinese finn is giving us a credit facility which enables us to give a JO years repayment period to fanners for them to acquire the tractors, the total credit is $4OOmillion including subsidies from government," he

said Bozimo stated that one of the conditions of the agreement is the advanoe payment of 16 percent of the contract sum while

the balance of 84 percent will be amortised over a period of 10 years at pegged interest rate of 2 percent per annum. The facility, he added. also attracts two year moratorium on

both pri ncipal and interest. 1l1C chaill11an sn-essed that the agreement when ilnplememed will bring down tlle prices o[ traCtors from their cun-ent level

of about N75 million to N5million, saying that fanners will have an opportunity to repay this amount wilhin a ten years period.

Bonmo gave assurances that the bank was well-positioned with 30 I branches spread ~

the COWltry to reach out with the facility to fanners. '"The agreement provides for training and capacity building for Nigerian Engineers,lrllCtors operators and teclmicians. It is expected that the trained personnel would eventually take charge of repairs and mainrenance of the machinery and equipment," he said. "So far, there is an estimated

15.000 functional tractors currently existing in the country and it is expected that the proposed new supply will add the number up to 25.000," he added. The former Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mr. Sayyadi Abba Ruma said that out of the N200billion fund intervention fund allocated to agriculnll'C.

N.JO billion has been set aside for smull f,mners.

He added tl,at the N200 billion is a stimulus fu nd under the management of the Cemral

Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but said small fanners could o,~ y access the N40 billion agricultural facility loans by the government.

He said individual farmer would not be able to benefit from the loans because banks could not take such risk. "Fanners cannot access credit facilities until effort are made towards making it possible for them", he said. He added that, ''The way out is to ensure that farmers are very well organised, to organised fanners into oorporntive group. This is the best practice in other jurisdictions and models that have suoeeeded in agricultural credit financing or leveraging

assistance programme to fanners."

He stressed tl,at the federal govemment had commenced a

land refonn programme with a view to ensure that farmers are collateralised and the land they have could be used '" collatec.l!' This would probably take a long. time. .. We are commencing an agric censorship exercise that

would take the biometric of fann. families and their corporative leaders with a view to mak-

RUlTIa noted that individual

ing sure that they are probable

fanner wou ld not be able to benefit [rom the facility because banks cannot take such risk.

located wit1!in a development finance institution which is the

agric bank", he said.


THISDAY, Vol.16 No.5455