ABUJA – Mrs Roseline Benson, the National Women Leader, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on all relevant bodies to make loan available to women farmers to boost their productivity.
Benson made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
She said that government and banks needed to encourage women farmers by making loans available to them at the local, state and federal levels to boost their productivity.
“It is unfortunately in our society today that when a woman walks to the bank to ask for loan, they tend to look at her strangely and prefer giving such opportunity to our male counterpart.
“We have great and hard working women, especially at the rural areas that are ready to give out their best into farming.
“At this level, we are not supposed to be importing rice, spaghetti, flour, since we have abundant resource.
“What government ought to do is to make loan available to farmers at all levels,’’ she said.
Benson said that the association was agitating for one digit per cent interest from the banks, saying that banks should do away with the stiff conditions attach to accessing loans.
“Because of these challenges, a lot of women joined politics and have migrated to the urban centres since the relevant bodies are not willing to assist them,” she said.
Benson said that women from different states exhibited what they produced at the just-concluded National Agricultural Show held in Nasarawa State.
“We ask them to bring something that is peculiar to their state. And why we made it compulsory to show the world what they produce in their various states.
“The Borno women brought cassava bread, spaghetti made from cassava and these are mostly used by diabetes patients.
“The Kano women brought processed rice, Ekiti came with cocoa, Akwa Ibom came with palm oil and plantain, while Lagos came with garri. All the farm produce are locally made.
She added that the federal and state government were doing well in agricultural sector through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
“But this has not been good enough when it comes to accessing loan by women.’’
She, therefore, urged the state and federal governments to ensure that loans were made accessible to women farmers through their representatives. (NAN)