The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has lamented the nation’s underdeveloped agricultural sector despite its growing population.
The National President of NACCIMA, Mr. John Udeagbala, stated this while speaking at the Nigerian International Women Entrepreneur Exhibition (NIWEX) 2022, tagged, “Encouraging Women in Agriculture and Made-in-Nigeria Products for Economic Growth.”
Also, he stressed on the need to increase the participation of women in the agricultural space, pointing out that Nigerian women play important roles in food and agriculture.
Represented by the Vice President of NACCIMA, Mr. Kola Akosile, he said: “Women are the backbone of the society and important resource in agriculture. They make essential contributions to the agricultural development. About 63 per cent of all economically active men are engaged in agriculture as compared to 78 per cent of women. Traditionally, women have always played an important role in agriculture as farmers, co-farmers, wage labors and managers of farms.
“As agriculture is an important engine for growth and poverty reduction, the sector seems to be underperforming because women in urban and rural economy face constraint that reduces economic productivity. Although, it is true that women are filling important positions in the sector, there is still massive visibility in the agricultural Index gap that spreads across the State and the country at large.
“In view of these challenges women face in the area of agriculture, production and processing, let me use this medium to encourage our women to intensify their efforts in promoting agricultural production through made in Nigeria product as inscribed in this year’s theme.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Lagos State, Mrs. Lola Akande, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Adetutu Ososanya, said that women have the potentials to transform the economy if given the right opportunities and encouragement.
Akande commended the NACCIMA Business Women Group (NAWORG), for the exceptional role being played in coordinating the efforts of women in the chamber, Lagos State, and the country at large.
She said that the theme of the exhibition is apt considering the fact that women contribute to bulk of the population and their roles in feeding families.
“There is no better time for this programme to come up rather than now. This is because women must be assisted and encouraged to contribute their quota to economic diversification,” she said.
The Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, said that the Lagos State Government is committed to alleviating the challenges faced by women in the agricultural sector by giving priority to women in all its projects and initiatives.
Olusanya stressed that the ministry ensured that at least 40 per cent of beneficiaries in any project are women and also programs be targeted at training women in off season activities for revenue generation.
“We will continue to encourage active participation of women in the agricultural sector.
“Let me congratulate NACCIMA Business Women group for their unrelenting effort in promoting agriculture in Nigeria and usual collaboration with Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture,” she added.