Kwara Collaborates with HerVest on Gender Funding Project


Mary Nnah

The Kwara State Government has launched a collaborative initiative with HerVest, an inclusive fintech in Nigeria, to project finance and train 1,000 rural women farmers across the state.

The initiative launched through the Office of the Agricultural Technical Advisor to the Executive Governor started on April 2, 2022 in the communities of Ajase-Ipo (South Kwara), Lade Patigi (North Kwara) and Ilorin (Central Kwara).

The gender-based curriculum is designed to equip women farmers with basic agronomic practices and financial literacy, to enable them to make informed farming and agribusiness decisions while providing access to credit, to key inputs and markets to develop their agricultural enterprises.

The Gender Finance project is aligned with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s ten-year agricultural transformation plan, which is designed to ensure food security, generate employment opportunities and reduce the poverty rate.

At the start of the training exercise, the HerVest team led by Kwara State Government Agriculture Technical Advisor, Abdulquawiy Olododo, paid a courtesy visit to Kwara State Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, to mark the initiative.

During the visit, CEO and Co-Founder, HerVest, Solape Akinpelu, shed light on the existing $42 billion gender funding gap and discussed HerVest’s mission to bridge this chasm by connecting urban women with opportunities to impact investments in women farmers by giving them access to credit, extension services and high-end markets from a gender perspective.

According to her, “women farmers contribute over 70% of food production in Nigeria, but receive less than 10% of structured finance. They are very disadvantaged despite their role in the agricultural sector and need special support to realize their potential.

“As a social enterprise focused on impact and closing the $15.6 billion gender finance gap in agriculture, HerVest believes that partnerships and industrialization are key to addressing the challenges of farming. This is why we are truly delighted and honored to partner with the Office of the Technical Advisor for Agriculture to the Executive Governor of Kwara State to fund projects and train 1,000 women farmers in the state.

She further expressed her enthusiasm to collaborate with the state government on this achievement while emphasizing the empowerment of women as an organic catalyst for economic growth. According to her, women are natural accelerators who reinvest a large percentage of their income in their households and therefore should be empowered.

In his remarks, Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Alabi applauded the groundbreaking project and expressed the readiness of the state to support it while validating the need for gender inclusion in the global entrepreneurship through agriculture.

He further argued that partnering with the state government is the right step towards actualizing the state’s sustainable agricultural development goals.

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