In a bid to improve the lot of women farmers in the state, the Civil Society Forum on Women in Agriculture and Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE) an Action-aid sponsored NGO has called for a review in gender agric – budgetary allocation.
This call was made by the Chief Executive Officer, CCPE in Kwara State, Mr. Abdulkareem Suleiman, who argued the annual agriculture allocation by successive governments as insufficient to galvanize expected growth and development in the sector.
“Since women participation in agricultural development cannot be overemphasized, considering their significant contributions in the agriculture value chain and food production, we recommend that women farmers be accorded a pride of place in subsequent budgeting which could reflect in at least 30 percent budget allocation to direct line items aimed at supporting small holder women farmers” he stated.
In acknowledgement of the contribution of women farmers to the gross food needs of the continent, the National Coordinator, Organization for the Sustenance of the Nigerian Environment (OSFSN) – Angela Okoye outlined the forum as an advocacy effort to get the State Ministry of Agriculture to enhance smallholder farmers, women and civil society organization participation in the budgetary processes as stakeholders that they are.
She noted that women worldwide make up over 70 percent of the value chain labour force of the agric sector, while over 40 percent of women across Africa co – owned plots of land with their husbands but have not been able to expand due to discriminatory policies and neglects by Africa government policy formulations.
Okoye, a budget tracking and monitoring expert who doubles as member of Women in – Farming Advocacy Group therefore appealed that the state government should as a matter of importance inculcate the interest of women farmers. Also she recommended the need for equal and proactive engagement of the Federal Government to open up the CBN initiative – ‘Nigerian Incentive – Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) for access by smallholder farmers, especially women because of their production to processing roles in the agricultural value chains.
Culled from Agro Nigeria