Lack of Resources Paring Rural Women’s Agric Productivity
Every Friday on Morning Crossfire has been devoted to issues that touch on women and their endeavors in life. This will go on for a few months and it is in partnership between 99.3 Nigeria Info and the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism. The stories that are considered on the show will be drawn from projects completed by female reporters and these are reports about issues surrounding women.
The report considered today was made by Temitayo Aiyetoto of BusinessDay Newspaper. She also shows up on Morning Crossfire to contribute to the commentary on radio.
On the show, Wemimo highlights that rural women in agriculture constitute 70 percent of the sector’s labour force toiling in and out of season. The question is: do their number and efforts translate to a higher economic advantage? The answer is no. The answer is in the negative because of some cultural limitations.
Top Challenges Faced by Women
Lack of access to land space, inadequate funding, access to education and training, Gender inequality, Religious belief, Cultural belief, Lack of technological know-how, High rate of illiteracy, Lack of means of implementation, among others.
Furthermore, the British Council of Nigeria says that men are five times more likely to own a land in Nigeria than women. The show hosts seek some knowledge about what effects the issue is having on the economy.
Temitayo explains why she focuses on agriculture in Nigeria. She starts by explaining that one of the major goals that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has is to diversify the economy and that the president is interested in moving Nigeria away from being a country thriving on oil revenue to agriculture revenue. “I felt that women are the face of agriculture,” Temitayo says. “But truly deep down, they are not the face of agriculture. So this moved me to visit a small community in Osun state where they solely rely on farming. When you remove farming there’s nothing left. The community supplies neighbouring town with food constantly.
“In the community, you don’t see women owning plantations. You only see them when the harvesting period comes.” However, some women are able to succeed in what they do, as Temitayo shows in the example of a woman in the same Osun state community, who processes gari and has made enough money to build a house. “Because she’s a woman, it is challenging to male counterparts who sometimes see this as abnormal, thereby withholding the respect they would have accorded if she were a man. There are also so many other women who have not been so successful. These ones may have to rely on menial jobs.
Temitayo said that the biggest challenges these women find themselves in are rooted in culture. “We are in a patriarchal society that gives men supremacy over women."
Ms. 'Detoun Abbi-Olaniyan - Founder, Thistleberry Natural Farms & Lead Advisor, Maidville Consulting Ltd., Sheriff Quadri, Wemimo Adewuni, Achike Chude Social Commentator / In-House Resource Person @AchikeChude, and Temitayo Aiyetoto - Fellow Reporter @WSoyinkaCentre.
Achike Chude said there has been times when he associated with people who held on to the refrain “No women, no gathering” but according to him, the reality is that women are indispensable to the growth and order in the society. He continues to say that the situation has been part of the “trajectory of humanity” and it is not something that is Nigerian but a global phenomenon.
“It wasn’t so long ago that women were allowed to vote. Saudi Arabia has just started to allow women to drive. In Nigeria, the first woman who drove a car was Fumilayo Kuti. Inasmuch as we understand the social hindrances that keep women down there is a possibility for change. Humanity is now giving women more opportunities to realize their capacity. But in the battle to change things, the women need the men as they cannot do it alone,” Chude says.
The third resource person, 'Detoun Abbi-Olaniyan, who says she was once on the search for a land to buy said she encountered brick walls. “By the time I found that virgin land I wanted, I knew there was no way I could secure the negotiation to get the land. The land is owned by an indigenous family and they were looking at me, an English-speaking fancy girl who was just coming into their community to farm. So I had to hide under the shadow of another person, who is not my uncle but I got his assistance in the journey to get that land for farming. He was elderly and understood the land and he did all the negotiations.”
She speaks on the outlook women who needs help should have, and how they want other people to view them. “When you are looking for help are you looking weak or bold? Are you that ambitious? Someone actually asked me that question before, and I asked myself if I was really too ambitious or asking for too much in life.”
One of the questions left for consideration is how do we start orientating women and helping them to see their real potentials? Another is: How have all forms of challenge facing Nigerian women in agriculture affecting output in the country?
Follow the conversation by clicking here
- Temitayo Aiyetoto - Fellow Reporter @WSoyinkaCentre
- Ms. 'Detoun Abbi-Olaniyan - Founder, Thistleberry Natural Farms & Lead Advisor, Maidville Consulting Ltd.
- Achike Chude Social Commentator / In-House Resource Person @AchikeChude
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadri (@SheriffQuadry)
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka