The Chief Executive officer of Commonwealth Business Women Nigeria (CBWN), Afoma Adigwe has called on traditional rulers in various states to encourage more rural women and youths to participate in farming.

She made this appeal at a press briefing hosted by the organisation to sensitise the public to the activities carried out by CBWN as it prepares for the Commonwealth African Forum to be held in Canada later this year.

Adigwe, who stressed the important role of the agriculture industry to the future of the country, said she wants more rural women to see farming as a business venture for self-reliance.

While encouraging women and youths in farming, Adigwe called for the need of a specialized bank to serve the needs of rural women farmers, grant them access to interest-free loans and other empowerment services.

“Agriculture is the new industry and Nigeria’s future and on our part, CBWN intends establishing Farm Gate Micro-Finance Bank, focused solely on rural women farmers.

As such banks do in other countries, we will go to these farmers to find out their needs and assist them; not them looking for us”, Adigwe said.

Adigwe, who doubles as the founder of Uplifting Women Through Farming (UWTF), an NGO that is pioneering CBWN, also said their focus on providing the rural women farmers with skills, especially in processing and packaging, informed the organisation’s close relationship with traditional rulers.

On its forthcoming forum billed to hold in Canada, she added that CBWN is the forum’s country representative, which has been endorsed by Queen Elizabeth II and recognised by 54 governments.

Adigwe added this would expose women to trade opportunities, multilateral trade missions, trade policy makers and $93 billion procurement tenders across 40 sectors, globally.

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