Women farmers under the aegis of Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), Bauchi State chapter, have called on the state government and policymakers in the agricultural sector to improve and increased access to agricultural inputs and services for smallholder women farmers.
They disclose this during the presentation of the community scorecard on smallholder women farmers’ access to Agricultural inputs for the year 2019 -2022 organized by Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria and SWOFON.
Speaking, the Bauchi State Coordinator of SWOFON, Marka Abbas, said from the presentation of the community scorecard, smallholder women farmers’ access to Agricultural inputs was very discouraging.
Abbas called on the Bauchi State government to support women farmers by ensuring increased investment and qualitative spending in agriculture that targets smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers.
She expressed worry over the continued decline in budgetary allocations to agriculture by the Bauchi State government, saying 99.9 per cent of women farmers are not accessing agricultural inputs.
She said: “The data collected in the community scorecard on small Holder Women Farmers’ access to agricultural farmers’ inputs is a real reflection of the plight of women farmers in the state. From the scorecard, you will see that 65 per cent of smallholder women farmers indicated that their various cooperatives members rate the impact of government agricultural farm inputs on the livelihood of smallholder women farmers as “not at all” as the inputs received did not have any impact on the livelihood while 35 per cent indicated that the impact of the input distributed by the government was “low extent.”
A representative of Fahimta and the Programme Officer Scaling up Public Investment in Agriculture (SUPIA), Faith Adidu said that the essence of the meeting was to disseminate the information in the community scorecard on access to agricultural inputs to the relevant MDAs and stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the state to address the challenges women farmers face regarding access to agricultural inputs.
“From what was discussed today, the stakeholders are aware of the women farmers’ structural organizations in the state, but the women need to put more effort into their subsequent Advocacy outreaches because things have changed and there are various offices now championing agricultural activities in the state, so they have to change their way of approach for their issues to be captured,” she added.
Also speaking, the Director Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in the state, Rufai Ahmad, who was represented by Fanus Sadan a staff of the ministry noted that even though the yearly budget for agriculture was declining, women farmers in the state should put more efforts in lobbying for what they want, stressing that other sectors of the state such as education, health are also demanding the attention of the government.