Agriculture, the largest accelerator of economic growth in Nigeria has reduced poverty at an unprecedented rate. According to the NBS, Agriculture has steadily been a contributor to Nigeria’s GDP since Q3 of 2021 (at 29.94%).
But then, some key sectors within the agric-led enterprise and value-chains, remain underutilized because of the exclusion of the female working labour force, from accessing major farm inputs and assets to scale production.
According to Oxfam, female farmers contribute over 70% to food production in Nigeria, yet receive less than 10% of structured funding. They are highly disadvantaged despite their roles in the Agri sector and requires special support in realising their potential.
As a social enterprise geared towards impact and addressing the $15.6bn gender finance gap in agriculture, HerVest believes that partnerships and industrialization are key to addressing the challenges in agriculture. That’s why we are truly delighted and honoured to partner with the Office of the Technical Adviser on Agriculture to the Executive Governor of Kwara State to project finance and train 1,000 women farmers in the state.
The training which commenced on April 2, 2022, in the LGA’s communities of Ajase-Ipo (Kwara South), Lade Patigi (Kwara North) and Ilorin (Kwara Central) is designed to equip women farmers in Basic Agronomic Practices and Financial Literacy, to enable them to make informed farming, and agribusiness decisions while providing them with access to credit, key inputs and markets to grow their farm enterprises.
The HerVest team was led by the Technical Advisor on Agriculture, Abdulquawiy Olododo on a courtesy visit to the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, Kayode Alabi.
During the visit, Solape Akinpelu The CEO and Co-founder, HerVest, spotlighted the existing $42 billion gender finance gap and discussed HerVest’s mission to bridge this chasm by linking urban women with opportunities to impact invest in female farmers by providing them with access to credit, extension services and premium markets through a gender-focused lens.
She further expressed her excitement in collaborating with the state government on this feat while emphasizing female empowerment as an organic catalyst for economic growth. According to her, women are natural accelerators who reinvest a large percentage of their income into their households and therefore should be empowered with capacity.
The Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, in his response applauded the groundbreaking project and expressed the state’s readiness to support it while also validating the need for gender inclusion in global entrepreneurship through agriculture.
Amb. Olododo assured the HerVest team of the farmers’ commitment to work in compliance with the terms and conditions of the project. He further maintained that the partnership with the State Government is the right step toward the actualization of the state’s Agricultural sustainable developmental goals.
HerVest is an inclusive digital platform that provides financial growth services to underserved and excluded African women through target savings, impact investing and credit financing- specifically for women farmers in Nigeria. So far, HerVest has impacted over 5,000 thousand female farmers across Borno, Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Oyo and Ogun States in addition to its current project in Kwara State.
HerVest has over 30,000 women community members achieving financial wellness through competitive returns on target savings, agro investments and gender-driven financial literacy resources. HerVest is downloadable on internet-enabled devices.