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Empowering Women in Nasarawa with Smart Agriculture

Empowering Women in Nasarawa with Smart Agriculture

Fifty women from Nasarawa State are experiencing a transformative initiative that promises to reshape their agricultural practices and uplift their lives. The Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), an NGO committed to sustainable development, has embarked on a mission to empower women and youths through smart agricultural practices.

Mr. Joseph Ibrahim, the Programme Manager for GIFSEP, passionately spoke about the necessity of this initiative during a two-day training session in Lafia. “Climate change has dramatically impacted food production in our communities,” Ibrahim explained. “Our goal is to strengthen the adaptive capacity of women and youths, enabling them to respond effectively to these challenges.”

Participants, identified from various communities across Nasarawa State, have already experienced the harsh realities of climate change. Their traditional farming practices, once reliable, now struggle against soil infertility, flooding, high temperatures, dry spells, and pest infestations. GIFSEP’s training aims to turn these adversities into opportunities by promoting Nature-Based Solutions in food production.

Participants learned practical skills such as compost making and sack farming, innovative methods that utilize natural resources available at home. Ajav Abraham, an agricultural extension agent, demonstrated these techniques in Azuba Bashayi village, engaging the participants in hands-on activities to solidify their understanding.

The impact of the training was immediate and profound. Rejoice Asoloko and Asaba Averson, both persons with disabilities, expressed their gratitude and determination to implement their newfound knowledge. “This training has given us hope and tools to build resilience against climate change,” Asoloko said. “We will take this knowledge back to our communities and make a difference.”

Kenneth Akpan, National Coordinator of the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) project for Oxfam in Nigeria, highlighted the broader vision of the initiative. “It’s crucial for participants to disseminate what they’ve learned to others in their communities,” Akpan urged. “This ripple effect is essential for creating widespread change.”

Empowering women, especially in the African context, is critically important. Women are often the backbone of agricultural communities, yet they face significant barriers in access to resources, education, and technology. By equipping them with the skills and knowledge to implement smart agriculture, these women can enhance food security, improve their economic status, and contribute to the overall resilience of their communities. This empowerment leads to more sustainable and inclusive growth, addressing both gender inequality and climate vulnerability.

GIFSEP’s efforts are supported by the AACJ, a five-year project funded by Oxfam in Nigeria and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. This backing ensures that the initiative has the resources and reach to make a lasting impact.

As the training concluded, the sense of empowerment and optimism among the participants was palpable. Mr. Ibrahim reflected on the journey ahead, “We have made significant strides in influencing policy and improving the adaptive capacity of women. Our work is far from over, but together, we are building a future where sustainable farming secures livelihoods and combats poverty.”

The story of these 50 women and youths in Nasarawa is a proof to the power of education, resilience, and community. Through smart agriculture, they are not just adapting to climate change—they are overcoming it.

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