The International Agencies Target Women Farmers in Challenge Fund (IATWFCH) is to create 10,000 new jobs and increase income for 500,000 people, especially for resource poor men and women in Nigeria. It was learnt that a £3.5 million private sector development matching grant would support the initiatives from Lagos, Kano, Cross River, Kaduna and Enugu states under the project. It is an economic empowerment funding window under the Fund.
It was learnt that women in agribusiness in Nigeria have been offered a better chance of advancing their activities in various parts of agric value chain. The fund is a business contest aimed at private sector actors to encourage them to develop and adopt innovative business models and approaches that will create jobs and improve the income of the financially-challenged who are engaged in wholesale and retail trade. Abigial Anaba, AgroNigeria, an executive officer connected with the project, said that women had contributed immensely to agricultural production, but unfortunately, they hardly benefit from agricultural incentives and innovation, because of economic suppression, social and traditional practices.
She said that the GEMS4 was a market development project in the country, funded by DFID/UKAid and supported by the World Bank, with the mandate to stimulate market system changes that encourage growth and access.
She said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult, given the economic climate, for the female gender especially, to access fund, therefore the need to address the issue of poor access to markets, inadequate business support services, low level of education, poor business skills and socio-cultural restrictions being suffered by women.”