The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Al-Hassan, in New York at Nigeria’s side event during the ongoing 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) stated that the federal government has released about N43.92 billion (122 million dollars) to 300,000 rice farmers to increase Nigeria’s rice production by additional two million tonnes in 2018. The theme of the event was: “Achieving Economic Empowerment: Addressing women peace and security issues as a pathway for socioeconomic Independence for rural women in Nigeria”. Mrs. Al-Hassan said: “The Agricultural Transformation Agenda is aimed at strengthening the agricultural value chain, achieving a hunger-free nation, accelerating food and nutritional security, generating employment and growing wealth for millions of farmers. “The current Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government has released over 122 million dollars to farmers through 13 participating institutions. “This is to spur the production of additional two million tonnes of rice in 2018 by 300,000 Rice Farmers, majority of whom are women in rural areas”. She said the Muhammadu Buhari-led government was determined to meet the objectives of poverty eradication and the empowerment of rural women and girls for sustainable development, inherent in Agenda 2030. According to her, the Nigerian government has taken rigorous steps to initiate and strengthen policies, institutional frameworks, systems and mechanisms aimed at achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. She said some of the implementable strategies were designed to harness the socio-economic potentials of Nigeria’s 83.3 million female population.
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