AN expert in Agricultural Extension, Prof. Justina Mgbada, has called for the active involvement of women in the sustenance of agricultural value chain in the country.
Mgbada made the call on Thursday at the 30th Inaugural Lecture of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu.
She said the involvement of women in the agricultural value chain would enhance agricultural production in the country.
She said that sustainability ought to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
“The logistics sector of agricultural production, such as the transportation of agricultural products, is dominated by men.
“Women are however supposed to be the ones integrated into such extension task as they are involved in the sale of packaged materials used for most crops and processed foods such as maize, garri and yam flakes, among others.
“The processing landscape in the agricultural value chain is mostly at the informal and small-scale level as women handle the bulk of the processing.
“The formal processing level, in contrast, has men owning established processing companies but for the sustenance of the processing value chain, women and children are vital,” Mgbada said.
She said that men played the part of middlemen in the areas of marketing and trading of agricultural production but there were no middle women across the value chain.
“Women are less involved in wholesale but more active on the retail side and visible in open-air markets.
“They find it harder to enter into the markets due to limited education, funds, and low social status.
“Women-farmers receive less than 10 percent of the credit offered to small-scale farmers and are deterred from applying for formal loans because of the complexities of the administrative process.
“Their participation in farmer-training is low, due to lack of awareness, societal barriers, and transportation facilities, while cultural norms restrict them from accessing Information Communication Technology,” she said.
In a remark, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Luke Anike, said that the topic of the inaugural lecture reflected the guest lecturer’s area of specialisation.
“The topic is the product of the institution’s faculty of agriculture,” Anike said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the topic of the lecture was “Repositioning agriculture through Extension: The role of women.
– Feb 21, 2020 @ 08:45 GMT |