Did you know that there are more women in the agriculture space than people care to acknowledge? For many people, when the word “farmer” is mentioned, the image of an elderly male flashes before them. However, according to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, women accounted for 75% of the Nigerian farming population in 2020, working as farm managers, and suppliers of labor. Several women run their own farms or ranches while others are part of family operations.
Women’s roles in agriculture have become more defined over time. From agricultural production, processing, and utilization, the participation of women in agriculture has no restrictions.
Socioeconomic factors such as income, education, and access to infrastructure all have substantial impact on women’s role in agriculture.
Here are some things that may surprise you about women farmers.
- Women are involved in the backbreaking tasks of planting, fertilizer/herbicide application, harvesting, and threshing.
- They can juggle farming and other domestic responsibilities with such relative ease. This is no easy feat, but women in agriculture have shown that they are up to the task.
- Women enjoy working in partnership; drawing strength from one another. Here at Babban Gona, women farmers support one another by being part of a trust group.
- Women in agriculture are not exempted from the general challenges faced by most smallholder farmers. These challenges include lack of access to financing, information, training, and input. Babban Gona offers support to all smallholder farmers to cushion the effect of these challenges.
- Women are extra passionate about what they do. They give their all in every farming season to make the most of it.
In conclusion, women in agriculture are vital to the growth and development of the sector. They can balance other tasks while managing the rigorous labor of farming. With the right support and encouragement, women in agriculture can thrive and contribute significantly to the sector’s growth. Hence, we must continue to recognize and celebrate their achievements while working towards creating an enabling environment for them to succeed.