By Francis Akinnodi
Policymakers in the country have been called upon to ensure that economic, financial and business policies designed are all-inclusive in principles and implementation.
Ondo State Coordinator of NAWORG, the women wing of National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr.(Mrs.) Funmilola Williams-Daudu made the call recently.
She explained that the key mission of WAPAGEIN was “to develop a better agricultural and business management practices that would result in improved competitiveness, productivity, income, gross marginal yields for smallholder farmers and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.”
She emphasised the need to provide equal opportunity for all, irrespective of their gender, saying though, a recent survey by the World Bank revealed that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of women Entrepreneurships in the world.
“Most of the businesses are classified as low-level female entrepreneurship because they operate in the informal sector that yields very little income.”
She, therefore, noted that there was an urgent need to increase women’s potential to participate in high-level businesses that could foster high-level empowerment, job creation and social development in their communities.
According to her, “Women need targeted funding, guidance and business services. We need to remove structural barriers with regard to access to finance. Mentoring business champions and innovative forms of financing are useful to overcome barriers.
“There’s clearly no doubt that with sufficient support and resources, agribusinesses can extend efforts to empower other women in the agricultural sector.
“However, strong links to high-value markets, access to necessary finance and resources, and sufficient business training are essential requirements for women business leaders to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and expand our agribusinesses to compete on an international scale.”