Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to make available, a minimum of 50 per cent interest free loans to women farmers.
Tallen, former Plateau State Deputy Governor, made the call at the 2019 Agriculture Summit Africa, organised by Sterling Bank in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders in Abuja.
The summit, with the theme: “Agriculture: Your Piece of the Trillion-Dollar Economy” has about 2000 participants with representatives from the U.S. and over 30 participants from African countries among others.
Tallen, who expressed concern that women farmers were not adequately benefitting from interventions, said it was important to give concession to women in view of their contributions to food security and agricultural development.
She lamented that in spite of the fact that women farmers outnumbered their male counterparts, they were not given adequate opportunity to access loans or grants from various interventions to farmers.
“I am advocating that the CBN gives a minimum of 50 per cent interest free loan to Sterling Bank to support women farme rs.
“Many of you might question its workability but it is possible, it can be worked out.
“Women are in the center of fighting poverty and the success story of food security because we have more female farmers across the nation.
“We can only get it right when we involve large chunk of women, who make up more than 51 per cent of the population of this country, actively because it is a number that cannot be ignored.
“All we need to do is to give them the necessary support and encouragement.
“Once we get it right by supporting women in the area of food security, we have solved half of our problem,” she said.
The minister stressed that the economy would grow optimally if women were fully integrated, adding that “women are the more productive and committed particularly in agriculture”.
She said it was on record that women who had access to loans utilised them properly unlike the men.
Tallen said that “empowering women is empowering the family, empowering the family is empowering the nation and empowering the nation is empowering society at large.”
The summit is a platform dedicated to creating a convergence of private and public sector players, investors and agriculture practitioners across the entire value chain to proffer solution to agricultural problems. (NAN)
-Sep 05, 2019 @18:06 GMT |