“WOFAN Cultivates Empowerment: Bridging Opportunities for Inclusion in Bauchi State”

By Muhammad Sani Mu’azu

Amidst the celebrations of international women’s day, Malam Akilu Ishaq Abdulkarim, the program manager of the Bauchi State Agricultural Development Program (BSADP), urged persons living with disabilities in Bauchi State to embrace farming as a means of livelihood.

Speaking at an event to commemorate International Women’s Day, organized by the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) at the Special Education Center in Bauchi, Malam Akilu emphasized the potential for disabled individuals to thrive in farming with support from government and non-governmental organizations.

Malam Akilu remarked that if persons living with disability are provide with interest-free loans and capacity-building opportunities, they can sustain themselves and also contribute significantly to society.

He further highlighted the importance of ending discrimination against people with disabilities, suggesting that addressing their needs could help alleviate the issue of street begging.

On his part, Shafi’u Haladu Babaji, the program manager of WOFAN ICON 2 Project in Bauchi State, emphasized the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Inspire Inclusion. which in line with the theme, WOFAN is dedicated to promoting inclusivity by empowering people with special needs.

He outlined WOFAN’s efforts, including the construction of facilities and plans to establish a skill acquisition center at the Special Education Center in Bauchi aimed to equip students with disabilities with practical skills for self-reliance.

The village head of Yelwan MuAllayidi in Bauchi, Malam Garba Isah Ibrahim, lauded WOFAN’s initiatives, emphasizing the importance of bringing programs to the Special Education Center.

Malam Garba opined that the initiative not only fosters a sense of belonging but also equips students with the confidence to overcome life’s challenges.

Also, a lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi Malam Aminu Mijinyawa has emphasized the indispensable contributions of women in the agricultural sector, citing that over 80% of women in farming communities across Nigeria rely on agriculture for sustenance, yet many struggle to escape poverty.

Malam Aminu Mijinyawa stressed that Women are the backbone of agriculture, actively participating in every aspect of food production, underscoring the critical need for comprehensive support.

He delivered these insights during a lecture at an event organized by the Women Farmers Advancement Network at the Special Education Center in Bauchi.

Our agriculture correspondent, Muhammad Sani Mu’azu, caught up with Malam Aminu Mijinyawa for an exclusive interview to delve deeper into the importance of involving women and individuals with special needs in agriculture.

Malam Aminu Mijinyawa, also shed light on the imperative to empower women and individuals with special needs to actively participate in agriculture, fostering enhanced productivity and sustainable food systems for Nigeria’s future.