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NGO Push Support For Women In Agriculture To Promote Gender Equality

A non-profit organisation, African Food Changemakers (AFC) has called for support for women in agriculture to close the gender gap and the barriers they face in agriculture.

Communications Officer, African Food Changemakers (AFC), Cassandra Taiwo, made the call in Abuja.

Taiwo said the call became imperative because women face significant gender-specific barriers in the sector.

These barriers, she said, are limited access to financing, information, training, and societal obstacles among others and they hinder productivity in the agrifood system, contributing to underperformance in developing countries.

She said closing the gender gap in agriculture would have far-reaching benefits in the sector.

Taiwo also said the organisation recognises the need to support women’s progress in the food ecosystem and raise awareness for their role as changemakers in the African agricultural sector.

She said to cushion the effects of the barriers on women, AFC in collaboration with Skoll Foundation inaugurated the African Women in Food Fellowship (LAWFF) in March 2023.

“LAWFF programme has profoundly contributed to women by offering opportunities to bridge gender inequality in the industry.

“The LAWFF Programme, aims to amplify, celebrate, champion, and advance the work of female food changemakers in Africa.

“It offers mentorship, training, peer-to-peer support, increased visibility through strategic media coverage, and connections to AFC partner networks for funding and scaling.

“Together, these remarkable women are paving the way for a sustainable and inclusive food system in Africa, where the image of success is synonymous with a flourishing female entrepreneurs rather than a hungry child.”

According to Taiwo as these women emerge as leaders and advocates, their amplified voices will shape policies, influence narratives, and drive transformative change in the African agricultural sector.

“The African ecosystem is a complex system that involves social-political, cultural, and religious idiosyncrasies and for you to thrive as an enabler or a business, you need to understand these layers of complexity and the people,” she said.

Taiwo said the fellows went through a rigorous nomination, application, and selection process led by industry experts and leaders, including representatives from notable organisations.

She said these include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Region, IITA, AfDB, and the SDG2 Advocacy Hub among others.

She said that 27 exceptional fellows were chosen from over 640 nominations selected across five categories based on their fit with eligibility criteria, impact, and growth potential among others.

She said the fellows represented countries such as Benin, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.

Taiwo said they participate in weekly interactive training sessions throughout the program, adding that the LAWFF programme would culminate at the 2023 Africa Food System Forum Summit in Tanzania.

Source: https://tribuneonlineng.com/ngo-mulls-support-for-women-in-agriculture-to-promote-gender-equality/

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