Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady, has announced her plans to distribute mechanised farm tools worth N151 million to rural women, aiming to provide support and alleviate farming challenges. Speaking on behalf of the First Lady, Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Ohaneye, expressed the belief that this support will lessen the labor burden faced by rural women, enabling them to increase their farm produce.
During a briefing in Abuja to commemorate the 2023 International Day for Rural Women, themed “Rural Women Confront the Global Cost-of-living crisis,” Minister Ohaneye revealed that the ministry also intends to distribute 26,000 tons of high-quality rice from China to rural women, with the purpose of reducing the cost of rice.
She stated, “26,000 tons of high-quality rice from China will be distributed to rural women. This rice has a short harvest cycle of just three months, which will significantly cut down the cost of rice.”
Minister Ohaneye urged women and other stakeholders to support farmers, particularly women farmers, by providing them with the necessary tools to reduce their labor burden, ultimately boosting crop yields.
Idris Muhammed, the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, highlighted the significance of International Rural Women’s Day as a global initiative to showcase the contributions of women at the grassroots level and enhance their means of livelihood, primarily through agriculture, to combat poverty.
He emphasized, “Evidence from around the world shows that rural women play a crucial role in the rural economy. They engage in crop production and livestock care, provide food, water, and fuel for their families, and undertake various activities to diversify their family’s livelihoods. Rural women are key actors in driving economic, social change, and environmental protection.”
Muhammed also addressed the theme of this year’s World Food Day, “Water is Life, Water is Food; Leave No One Behind,” emphasizing the immediate and long-term benefits that safe food and water production and consumption have for people, the planet, and the economy.
He added, “The various conflicts in Nigeria have exposed the vulnerability of our food system to major shocks and underscore the need for rural women to be economically empowered for self-determination.”