Viewpoint: Nigeria Needs to Close the Financial Inclusion Gap for Women Smallholder Farmers
By Olayinka Adegbite, Elizabeth Mkandawire, Lepepeule Machethe
Women smallholder farmers in Nigeria are involved in all aspects of agriculture. This ranges from producing food on farms to putting it on plates. They’re involved in planting crops, livestock production, harvesting, marketing and processing of farm produce as well as food preparation and family care.
Yet, because they are women, they are held back by unequal access to resources – especially finances – that would help make them become more successful.
Agriculture contributes significantly to Nigeria’s economy. It is also the largest employment provider, with female smallholder farmers making up almost half the number of agricultural workers. They also play an important role in aspects of sustainable development. This includes being a bulwark against hunger and poverty in rural areas. Yet the majority still struggle to access affordable financial services to help them develop their farming operations and livelihoods.
Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Secretariat.