By Saby Elemba, Owerri
The Federal Government has disclosed its readiness to stem the vulnerability and susceptibility of the nation’s agricultural sector to the impacts of climate change which it said is rain-fed dependent.
According to Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar the minister of agriculture and rural development, climate change and variability affects particularly women, who constitute the most vulnerable among the farming communities.
He stated this when he declared open the South East Edition of a two-day sensitization workshop on “Gender mainstreaming into climate change, adoption and mitigation strategies Against climate change for women farmers in the six geo-political zones of the country”.
Represented by the Chris Iwuchukwu, the director of his ministry in Imo State, Abubakar explained that any change in the weather pattern, in terms of the amount, intensity, duration and the on-set duration affects farmers decision on when, what’d and where of the crops and input as well as other cultural operations in the value chain.
“Available statistics indicate that women constitute about 80 percent of the force involved in agricultural production, grow up to 80 per cent of the food in Nigeria and overall, they constitute about 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, yet women face various facets of challenges and needs by women farmers especially climate change and variability, access to information and technologies,” he lamented.
The minister informed that the national gender policy in agriculture which was approved in 2019 with the thrust hinged on gender equity and equality for optimum productivity in the agricultural sector was envisioned to ensure commitment to gender mainstreaming at all levels of agricultural sector which is seen as a tool for achieving gender based reforms and increasing productivity by men and women along all the value chains in the sector.
However, Barthy Okorochukwu Imo State commissioner for agriculture who spoke in this vein with the assistant director, head, gender, federal ministry of agriculture and rural development.
Ifeoma Anyanwu and other resource persons regretted that climate change affects geo-physical systems through floods, drought, sea level as another milestone on the drive towards achieving food sufficiency and food security in the state and the nation at large warned that no agricultural system could survive if the natural conditions are hostile and management incompetent.