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By Oswald Agwu 

Nigerian women have been challenged to actively get involved in the sustenance of agricultural value chain in the country. 

The call was part of outcome of the 20th inaugural lecture delivered by Professor Justina Mgbada at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Agbani. 

Mgbada,  a professor of Agricultural Extension and immediate past Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, called on relevant stakeholders to ensure the encouragement of women’s engagement in many agricultural sub-sectors.

She regretted that the logistics sector of agricultural production such as the transportation of agricultural products, packaging and processing were dominated by men.

Mgbada further observed that the formal processing level has men owning established processing companies but for the sustenance of the processing value chain, women and children are vital.

According to the scholar, women- farmers receive less than 10 per cent of the credit offered to small-scale farmers and are deterred from applying for formal loans because of complexities of the administrative process.

Mgbada explained further: “Women are however supposed to be the ones integrated in such extension task as they were involved in the sale of packaged materials used for most crops and processed foods such as maize, garri, yam flakes among others.

 “The processing landscape in agricultural value chain is mostly at the informal and small-scale level as women handle the bulk of the processing and this will enhance agricultural production in the country.

 “Men play the part of middlemen in the areas of marketing and trading of agricultural production but there are no middle women across the value chain.

 “Women are less involved in wholesale but rather more active on the retail side and visible in open air markets and find it harder to enter into the markets due to limited education, funds and low social status.”

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Luke Anike, in his welcome address described the topic of the lecture as apt, adding that it properly reflected the guest lecturer’s area of specialization.

He emphasized that the essence of the lecture was to nurture Agricultural benefits through improved value chain and the boosting of equal gender participation. 

 “We are happy to receive this lecture which is the product of our faculty of agriculture and urge our guests to feel free and savour the occasion.” he expressed. 

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By Mosvin Communications

Nation's Pride Newspaper is a production of Mosvin Communications located in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

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