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Capture interests of women farmers in your plans, ActionAid Director urges agric ministries

LOKOJA – Mr Victor Adejoh, Programme Director, Action Aid Nigeria in Kogi, has called on States and Federal Ministries of Agriculture, to capture the interests of small scale women farmers in their planning and budget proposals.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Sunday, he said such a measure would enable them access credits and grants easily.

Adejoh, who is also the Executive Director of  a nongovernmental organisation, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), explained that although small-holder women farmers operated on small scale, “they occupy strategic position in the value chain of food production”

“Government in its planning process should ensure that these people are captured.

“Let government’s budget in agriculture be sensitive, responsive and to the needs of small holder women farmers that are in their various communities”, he said.

He observed that small-holder farmers operated in groups, farming on small parcels of land and required little funds to accomplish their goals, as such should not be equated with commercial farmers.

He said that rather than granting loans to small-holders farmers, and placing them in the same class with commercial farmers, they should be assisted with grants.

Adejoh also called on government to provide adequate security for both small holder and commercial women farmers against attacks by herdsmen and hoodlums.

According to him, there have been instances of women farmers being butchered or raped, in addition to many other atrocities being perpetrated against them on their farms.

The Programme Director also suggested that police posts be established every seven kilometres within community settlements, to enable timely report of criminal activities against rural farmers. (NAN)

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