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Group urges FG to support women farmers


The President, Ogbonge Women Farmers’ Association, Mrs Chinasa Asonye, has appealed to the Federal Government to support women farmers in the country with mechanised equipment.

Asonye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that the provision of mechanised equipment would enable women to contribute to food production.

According to her, women need the support of government through grants and provision of mechanised equipment.

She said that women farmers have returned their hoes and cutlasses to the museum, and now need enough support to contribute to food production in the country.

“We want the Federal Government to come to our rescue and assist us with mechanised equipment and grants.

“We have a lot of issues affecting women farmers which include banditry, kidnapping, rape and COVID-19 pandemic.

“The situation in the country currently has taken us 10 years backward.

“The Federal Government should assist women farmers like the Lagos state is doing. If the Federal Government can come in, we will improve production,” she said.

The association leader said that the women do not want loans because they are not easily accessible but needed good network, good farm implement and grant to assist them.

“Lagos has always been supporting farmers in the state with inputs, grants and good policy.

“If other states can emulate Lagos, things will be better and farmers will have limited problem,” she said.

Asonye also urged the government to increase the budgetary allocation to agriculture.

She noted that the Maputo declaration recommended 10 per cent but the government allocated less than 1 per cent to the sector.

She expressed worry that Nigeria is not meeting up with the recommended budgetary allocation to agriculture in spite of the global food challenges.

“Government makes policies for us without our inputs. It needs to include us in policy decision, formulation and implementation. We need to advise government on the needs and challenges of women farmers.

“We don’t want to use hoes and cutlasses again, we want to use mechanised equipment,” the association president said.

She urged the state Ministries of Agriculture to dialogue with farmers in order to identify their exact need and challenges.

“Farmers cannot go to their farms anymore, they are being abused and kidnapped. Very soon it will be difficult for women to engage in farming.

“Climate change is also affecting us, we want government to provide irrigation system for farmers and dry farming system.

“We don’t have to wait for climate change to destroy everything before government will act,” she stressed.

Asonye, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the climate change act.

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