The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), on Monday, in Abuja, commenced training of about 80 women from across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones, in financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
The ministry’s Director of Extension, Mrs Karima Babangida, said at the ongoing five-day training programme that the initiative was aimed at giving financial management knowledge to women in agriculture.
Represented by Mrs Sugra Mohammed, the ministry’s Deputy Director of Gender and Youth, Babangida said that the training was also meant to teach them efficient business and personal finances management.
The director said that at the end of the training, certificates would be issued to beneficiaries to enable them access the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s funds.
“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 CBN,’’ she said
She also explained that 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.
According to her, the Nigeria Financial Literacy Baseline Survey Report of October 2015, has shown that rural people were often excluded due to factors such as financial literacy.
“The survey also showed that the two most excluded segments called Women farmers and Micro-enterprises 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.
According to Babangida, women, who currently constitute about 70 per cent of agricultural labour and rural small holder farmers feeding Nigerians, only had access to about 20 per cent of productive resources.
Mrs Hadiza Umar, of the National Council for Women Societies, FCT, said that the training would facilitate women’s independence and help them to better manage their resources.
“This training is an eye-opener for women that want to go into business and are thinking of how to raise capital,’’ Umar said.
Another beneficiary Jima Mariatu, the Secretary of Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture (AWITA), commended the ministry for organising the training, adding that it would empower more women.
“This is not just how to raise capital, but how to manage the capital,’’ Mariatu said.