Business

Stakeholders develop empowerment strategies for women

The Support to Women Entrepreneurship in the Agri- food Sector in Nigeria (SEFAN/SWEAN) project hosted a writeshop for stakeholders from several institutions to brainstorm practical training solutions to empower women in agribusiness in Kaduna and Oyo states from May 2021.

The training is in line with the fulfillment of the project’s mandate over the next 16 months. Stakeholders from Federal Institute of Industrial Research (Oshodi), Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute (NSPRI), Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and IITA came together in the twoday writeshop organised by the SEFAN/SWEAN project in collaboration with IITA.

They identified key messages and strategic support to pass on to women in the agrifood sector to empower them in their food production, processing, and business ventures. The project is in partnership with Oyo and Kaduna State Government Development Programmes and is funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs in Nigeria. The project manager, Zainatou Sore, said: “The project targets women entrepreneurs from often marginalized groups who are involved in different sectors of the agricultural value chain from farm to table.” Prof. Lateef Sanni, a Professor of Food Science and Technology and Project Manager of the BASICS-II project in IITA, moderated the writeshop, interactively engaging and getting contributions from the participants.

He said the training manual to be developed at the end of the writeshop would cover the specific sectors women in agribusiness had requested training on. Presenters from the different institutions brought out developmental issues in the areas requested by the women in the agrifood sector, notably: food processing and fortification, branding and packaging, regulation and certification, standards, market and export opportunities, leadership, team building, and financial management that would help the women advance and become successful in their agribusiness ventures.

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