By Edwin Nwanojuo
Nigerian Women in trade and agriculture have been tasked to key into the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development agricultural gender policy for women empowerment.
This call was made at the launch and inauguration ceremony of the Association of Women in Trade and Agricultural (AWITA) and its officials in Abuja.
The Minister of State Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Maryam Katagum, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the ministry, Mrs Chioma Fidel noted that women are estimated to account for 70 per cent of informal cross border trade in Africa, as they engaged in various trade in the continent.
In her inaugural address, the President of the Association of Women in Trade and Agricultural AWITA Mrs Ruth Abraham Agbo while explaining that AWITA is a non governmental association of women traders, farmers, agripreneurs and service providers in and outside Nigeria, said it was an important move to create and develop a platform through which the voice of the informal sector women can be heard.
She said the association had adopted an integrated strategy towards the empowerment of women through concerted farming, entrepreneurship development programs, support of the agricultural value chains service providers.
She, however, called on all stakeholders especially women traders and farmers in the agricultural value chain to join AWITA in its quest to improve agriculture.
“We need to build a synergy so that we can become a voice for the voiceless and key into the effective implementation of the agricultural gender policy for women empowerment through the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development,” she said.
“AWITA is concerned about how trade and agriculture can contribute to economic empowerment, with a focus on shedding light on priorities for intervention in terms of sectors of reforms that positively affect women in trade and agriculture. Today we have represented AWITA members from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
”The vision of the association is to promote women’s economic empowerment, equality that impacts on the gender dimension of trade, as we intend to promote more inclusive trade, where benefits are shared more widely for the attainment of the Social Development Goals 5,” she said.