The Female Food Hero (FFH), also known as Ogbonge Woman, an initiative of Oxfam in Nigeria that annually identifies and rewards the most outstanding women farmers has introduced an Online National Youth Food Heroine (YFH) initiative, an online quiz competition targeting young people not above 36 years of age.
The goal of the program is to engage young people in understanding and honouring the lives of rural women farmers, while spurring their interest in agriculture as a way to counter youth apathy to agriculture. Youth in Nigeria often devalue farming and do not recognize the essential role it plays in both the nutrition base and economy of the country. Increased urbanization and aging of rural populations have significantly contributed to the fading interest and involvement of youth in agriculture. In order to increase support for women farmers, educating young people and engaging them to understand and appreciate their roles is important to remove any stigma and social proscriptions.
The online quiz competition will post questions weekly on the website and social media platforms; only the first correct response will be adjudged winner and entitled to a consolation price. For this year, which is themed as the International Year of Family Farming by United Nations, the quiz will run from August to October and target only Lagos residents.
The FFH initiative is organized around a contest to find the most outstanding women farmers – ones who have overcome challenges and made significant gains in their farming and their immediate communities. Central to the approach of FFH is to create avenues for women food producers, who produce bulk of what we eat, to speak for themselves on issues and challenges they are facing to policy makers and key public figures.
Other supporters of this worthy course include Zebra Stripes Networks, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Accenture, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, LiveWell Initiative and Notore.