Women Farmers under the Smallholder Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), want the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to ensure gender inclusion in implementation of Agricultural budget planning and design, saying 75 per cent of farmers in Nigeria are women.
The Women Farmers who spoke at a stakeholders forum in Abuja also demanded more access to credit facility, farm inputs and modern techniques to boost food security and meet the needs of the teeming population.
SWOFON Coordinator for FCT Mrs Comfort Sunday, observed that most women farmers in Nigeria still use obsolete equipment on their farms, while the numbers of those who depend on Nigerian farmers for food keep increasing.
According to her, the need to mechanize farms has become imperative, noting that socio-economic effects of insecurity and flooding across the country had led to reduction in crop yields and income for women farmers.
“As they say No Woman, No Food on the table, No food on the table, No nation, Women farmers are the real famers as rainy season approaches we hopes the season bring bountiful harvest”. She said.
Representative of Smallscale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) National Secretariat, Chika Orji, who presents the scorecards assessment report on smallholder women farmers in FCT, maintained that the implementation of the gender policy on agriculture would ensure that direct programmes are developed to support the women farmers and recommended that the national assembly ensure timely release of the agricultural budget every year.
in her words: ” Smallholder women farmers need to have access and control to land, trainings to avert food and nutrition insecurity in FCT; provide more short time seedlings and simplified weather information in local language, “
Representative of the FCTA, Mr Ojeyemi Jones of Planning Research and Statistics and Dr Pelumi Akinmulero of Budgit Unit (FCTA-ARDS), assured that the administration are mindful of them and have a program that supports women in the agricultural sectors.
The Program organised by Action Aid Nigeria in collaboration with SWOFON brought together government actors, CSOs and Women Farmers from the six Area Councils of the FCT.
Reporting by Juliet Onwurah; Editing by Julian Osamoto