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POWA’s one-day working visit: IAR&T partners POWA, UNESCO on building young women in agriculture
 
By: News Editor
Thu, 23 May 2024   ||   Nigeria,
 

The historic one-day working visit of the national executives of the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) to the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) yesterday, May 22, 2024, has yielded fruits of assurance on the institute’s partnership with POWA and the Read and Earn Federation for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO REF) under its Strategic Intervention Programme – Alpha (SIP-ALPHA) for Young Women in Agriculture (YWA Champions).

As the institute hosted delegates and representatives from POWA and UNESCO Ref, the collaboration is aimed at building capacity and enhancing the economic value of Nigerian women in the area of agriculture.

Speaking during an intimation at the institute’s hall, the POWA National President and wife of the Inspector General of Police, Dr. Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun expressed her excitement to be at the institute, explaining that their visit is “part of my concerted efforts as National Advocate of Young Women in Agriculture.”

She furthered that the one-day working visit was also to “complement the initiative of the first lady of the nation, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and to enhance the initiative of President Tinubu on food nutrition and security in Nigeria.”

Stating the need to have firsthand information about the institute and witness their readiness to work, Egbetokun furthered that “the reason we are here is to collaborate with IART and UNESCO Ref. We hope that by this collaboration, we will reduce the hunger to zero or lesser one before the end of 2030.”

On his part, the UNESCO Ref President Project Director of Young Women in Agriculture, Prince Abdulsalami Ladigbolu, also explained that the Young Women in Agriculture (YWA) is an initiative of UNESCO Ref under its Strategic Intervention Programme, to enhance the economic value of Nigerian women.

Ladigbolu who explained the initiative as a 7-year timeline launched last year, noted that some of the areas of focus of the initiative include, enhancing food security in Nigeria, nutrition, creation of opportunities on how storage facilities will be put in place, preventing the number of out of school children, value chain, students loan, crime reduction, and so, which are areas young women can look into.

He advised the women to take advantage of the programme not only with the mindset of making profit but towards intergenerational connectivity.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Executive Director of IAR&T, Prof. Veronica Obatolu who welcomed the dignitaries to the institute recalled that the institute participated in the joint-press briefing and signing of the mission action plan with the theme “Enhancing National Security through Women in Agriculture” together with POWA and UNESCO Ref in Abuja on 26th of July 2023.

According to her, the working visit was a follow-up to ascertain their readiness in building capacity of young women in agriculture.

Expressing the significant role women play in feeding their families and fueling the economy, the Director stated that, “their role in the agricultural value chain transcends manual labour that it is dynamic and encompasses a range of skills and responsibilities.”

“This is transformational through processing, marketing, entrepreneurship and social inclusion, leadership and policy advocate that are crucial for not only food security and community development but towards national security and economic sustainability,” she said.

She further expressed her profound gratitude for the choice of the institute as a partner, assuring their willingness to collaborate on the development of youths and women in agriculture along different value chains.

While a symbolic presentation was made by the Director of IAR&T, Obatolu to Egbetokun and Ladigbolu, a plaque was also presented to Obatolu by YWA and Unesco Ref to show their readiness for the collaboration.

The visiting team toured the institute, from the seed processing unit, Kenaf cottage centre, automated garri processing centre, and crop farms, to the livestock farm – cattle, piggery, rabbit, snail and grasscutter.

Led by the National President and wife of the Inspector General of Police, Dr. Mrs Elizabeth Egbetokun, delegates from POWA included wives of Assistant Inspectors General of Police of Zone 12 and 17; POWA Chairpersons from Lagos, Oyo, and Osun States. Also, part of the delegation was the UNESCO REF President Project Director of Young Women in Agriculture, Prince Abdulsalami Ladigbolu; and representatives of One Million YWA Champions.

 

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