Improving Rural Nutrition Security with Nigeria’s Women in Agriculture Program
In Nigeria, women play key roles in food and nutrition security through their contributions to agricultural production, their influence on how to allocate household income, and their efforts to ensure proper nutrition for all household members. However, malnutrition remains widespread among rural women and children in Nigeria, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic and amid the current global food crisis.
To help meet this challenge and empower farming women to improve nutrition, the CGIAR’s HarvestPlus program is deepening its longstanding partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agricultural Development Program (ADP)—specifically, through the ADP’s Women in Agriculture (WIA) Extension Program. The WIA platform has proven to be a sustainable and effective mechanism for women to reach out to other women with agricultural information and technologies. Notably, the WIA approach helps break through religious and cultural barriersthat may prevent some women from gaining access to life-improving knowledge and resources.
HarvestPlus is strengthening the knowledge and capacity of about 500 WIA women officers in several states on the promotion of healthy feeding practices, nutrition, and promotion of biofortified crops and foods. The officers will then be able to include biofortification messages and trainings as part of their activities with women in the communities where they work, with the aim of motivating women farmers and their families to produce, process, distribute, and consume biofortified crops and foods.