Nigeria: ‘Giving Women Equal Access to Productive Resources Can Raise Agricultural Output By 4%’
By Gilbert Ekugbe
The Chairman, Access Bank Plc, Mrs. Dere Awosika, has stated giving women the same access to productive resources as men could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 per cent thereby raising total agricultural output in different countries by 2.5 to 4 per cent.
Besides, she said if given equal access, women would reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 per cent.
Speaking at the Women Directors Development Committee (WDDC) webinar organised by the WDDC of Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria, she explained that gender inequality is a major cause and effect of hunger and poverty, saying that according to World Food Programme (WFP), it is estimated that 60 per cent of chronically hungry people are women and girls.
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She added that almost 70 per cent of employed women in South Asia work in agriculture, as do more than 60 per cent of employed women in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This highlights the importance of developing policies and programmes that address their needs, interests and constraints,” she advised.
She explained further that less than 20 per cent of the world’s landholders are women, saying that women represent fewer than five per cent of all agricultural landholders in North Africa and West Asia, while in sub-Saharan Africa they make up an average of 15 per cent.
Also speaking, the Chairman, WDDC, Mrs. Debola Osibogun, said the programme is a core feature of the Executive Coaching Program initiated by the WDDC of IoD Nigeria to create a platform for learning, empowerment, and development for Female leaders from all walks of life.
She pointed out that the core mandate of the Women Directors Development Committee of IoD Nigeria is to promote the development of women leaders.
“We are tasked to be at the frontline of advocacy programmes for female executives, that is, to develop, execute and promote programmes that would empower women leaders, and enable them acquire the relevant knowledge and skills to compete effectively in leadership,”she said.