Northern Nigerian Breaking News

FG lauds WOFAN-ICON2 project for gender inclusivity in tackling food security

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has described the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN- ICON 2 Project) under the MasterCard foundation initiative as a welcomed initiative that complements government efforts in addressing challenges in agriculture.

The Minister made this known Tuesday when leaders of the WOFAN-ICON2  stakeholders led by the country program Director Hajia Salamatu Garba paid a visit to the Ministry, in Abuja.

Speaking during the visit, Senator Bagudu said he was open and pleased to embrace every collaborative effort that would improve, empower farmers, and contribute to food security, in line with the Federal government agenda.

Read Also: ABU partners UK varsity on African agricultural knowledge transfer

He commended the Mastercard Foundation for targeting at a project which had been the primary focus of the country’s economic policy and one of the mandates of the Ministry which was to ensure that the objectives of States were in tandem with the constitution.

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 According to the Minister, gender equality and inclusiveness were central in effective policy-making and social justice. “This is what WOFAN-ICON2  is doing now,”

The Minister appreciated the foundation for allowing women to participate in farming, giving them the opportunity to express their potential in the area of farming and ultimately engaging the private sector.

He, however, regretted that livestock producers were not breaking even, while the government needed others to support, hence   WOFAN-ICON2 project with a focus on women and youths’ participation is appreciated.

In her brief earlier, the Project Country Director of WOFAN -ICON 2, Dr Salamatu Garba, stated that the project was an Integrated Community of Network, which was meant for the rural people that brought the farmers and processors together to transform agriculture into profitable agribusiness and entrepreneurs.

She said that the project started with 30,000 thousand farmers, and when the achievement was impressive,  the foundation scaled it up to accommodate 675,000 farmers across  9  states of Nigeria in 5 years. 

She also said that ICON-2 was looking at the less privileged farmers pointing out that the main mission of Mastercard Foundation in the next 5 years was to work with 30 million youths in Africa between the age of 18 to 35 years with 10 million focusing on youths in Nigeria, considering the fact that they are the heartbeat of the nation.

The youths were empowered with timely input for dual-season farming, agricultural equipment, and capacity building through extension services and linkages to markets and financial inclusion. By implication much is expected from Nigeria in the next 5 years.’ She stressed.

Also speaking at the meeting was the chairman technical board of WOFAN – ICON -2 Professor Sani Miko who applauded the new agricultural extension policy of the  FGN and said all stakeholders would put heads together to get them implemented at all levels.

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