Women in Agric: The Story of Mrs Rabiatu, a Pregnant Agric Extension Officer

Agriculture and its related activities are undoubtedly male dominated activity. ” 94% of extension agents worldwide are male dominated” (FAO,1993)

The sector as seen by many as a reserve field for the male officers, Mrs Rabiatu have demonstrated professionalism beyond reasonable doubt that, if the sector could even have 1/3 of her caliber in technical positions, there will be a new face lift in the sector especially to the women beneficiaries.

Mohammed Gibreel chanced Mrs Rabiatu, a very active pregnant Agricultural Extension Assistant (AEA) at Moya, a farming community in the Sagnarigu municipality busily mapping and measuring farm lands with the help of another Agricultural extension Agent.

Madam Rabiatu mentioned several reasons that motivated her choice for that field, when she was asked by Tawheed Media.

“I had passions for agriculture when I was growing up but at a point in time I felt it was a job for the men, despite I was a general science student at the secondary school, I was offered admission to study agriculture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to which I accepted and completed successfully.

“The same thought never set me free until I asked myself one question, which is, even if agriculture is a job for the men does that mean I will be a failure if I venture?” My answer was absolutely NO. So I gave in my best and that is how come am here.

Madam Rabiatu Issah

Mrs Rabiatu, who is in her early 30s with almost seven (7)month pregnant, said she had already visited about nine (9) farms as at 12pm and was quick to add that, educating farmers and the farm visits are very interesting activities she enjoys doing and also serves as exercise for her body considering her condition.

Mrs Rabiatu explained some of the benefits that will be driven by government when more female extensionist are employed into the system.

“The presence of women in technical positions on agricultural extension teams enables projects to reach a greater number of female beneficiaries and, through them, projects may even reach more of the men who were not initially involved.

“As the number of female agricultural extension agents working in the field is small, limiting women to receiving training only from other women restricts potential female beneficiaries from being reached. In order to reach more female farmers, the barriers, including working conditions, social barriers, discrimination and policy limitations, that keep more women from working as agricultural extension agents must be addressed” she stressed.

She admonished young women especially the Moslem women to see agriculture as a business than just loitering around for nothing.

The community inluding your husband will respect you squarely if you are hardworking and financially independent, but tell me who will want to marry a lazy woman ” she lamented.

Mrs. Rabiatu revealed she is ever ready to mentor young women who want to take agriculture as a business.

She finally uses the opportunity to entreate all her farmers to adhere to the safety measures for the prevention of the COVID-19 by saying “you must be alive for us to farm together”.

Madam Issha Rabiatu Jummai as her full name is married with two kids.

Story By: Mohammed Gibreel|mohammedgibreel@yahoo.com

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