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The need to educate women on climate change

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Women in the South-West region receive training on how to alleviate the effects of climate change.

The Federal Government organized this training and it took place in Oyo state on Monday, the 14th of February.

The training was declared open by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar.
Leaders and representatives of women farmers in Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos states were present at the occasion.

The purpose of the training was to enhance and expose participants to climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The Minister of Agriculture said it would also help the women to build and enhance their resilience to the threat and impact of climate in agricultural production.

“The available statistics indicate that women smallholder farmers constitute about 80 per cent of the labour force involved in agricultural production and grow the bulk of the food for domestic consumption in Nigeria.

“Overall, they constitute about 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in the developing countries.

“Yet, they face various challenges and needs, especially in the area of climate change, access to inputs and credit as well as information and technology, which should not be overlooked,” he said.

Abubakar, represented by the Zonal Director of the ministry in the zone, Mrs Omolara Oguntuyi, urged the participants to transfer the knowledge gained in the workshop to their various locations and translate them into their agricultural practices.

In a remark, the Director of Special Duties in the ministry, Mrs Fausat Lawal, said the programme would enable smallholder women farmers to address the impact of climate change in line with Sustainable Development Goal No. 13.

Lawal, represented by the Head of Gender Unit, Mrs Ifeoma Anyanwu, said the workshop was geared towards addressing women’s challenges.

“And because of dependence on natural resources, their products are disproportionately affected by adverse weather conditions caused by climate change.

“From this workshop, women will learn how not to cut trees, use cellophane bags or untreated charcoal to cook and ensure a clean environment.

“The minister is gender-sensitive and knows that women are the gatekeepers of food security and with their participation, the challenges will be addressed,” Lawal said.

Speaking, the Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adeniyi Adebisi, said there was a need for awareness, education and finding solutions to activities that affect the climate negatively.

“We must reduce toxic gases to the atmosphere, plant trees, plant and raise drought-tolerant varieties of crops and livestock and establish home gardens.

“I commend the organisers for inviting our women to this programme. Whoever trains a woman, trains a nation.

“Programmes targeted at women normally have lasting sustainability effects on the whole nation,” Adebisi, represented by Mrs Ibukunoluwa Iroko, Director, Agriculture Extension, said.

Mr Ekpato Emmanuel, a Gender Consultant, handled the women on the impact of climate change on agriculture.

Emmanuel further took them on the need to make use of climate adaptable seedlings and methods to mitigate the effect of the phenomenon.

The participants were later presented with clean gas stoves and copies of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture, amongst other items.