Why Women farmers in Gombe state are seeking increased funding now
Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria, Gombe State chapter, on Thursday, urged government to scale up agriculture budget to N50m.
The group made the call in a-14-point communique issued shortly after a stakeholders consultative meeting towards Scaling Up Investment in Agriculture organised by Hope Foundation for the Lonely with support from Action Aid Nigeria.
According to the communique signed by the chairman, Yusuf Atiku, the forum of women farmers stated that prompt release of funds would boost agricultural production, adding that prices of food items may increase by next year.
The communique read partly, “Gombe State Government should ensure the implementation as budgeted in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry budgetary allocation for smallholder women farmers.
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“The government should ensure easy access to credit facility at single digit interest rate to be made available to smallholder women farmers across the state.
“The federal and state governments should employ agricultural extension officers to train smallholder women farmers on good agricultural practice.”
It added, “There should be a steady and deliberate incremental commitment to agriculture budget such that 10 per cent of the Malabo commitment is achieved in the yearly budget.
“The government should provide more agricultural farm inputs, women friendly machineries and labour saving technologies for easy access to women farmers.
“The state government should increase the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
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“The government should deliberately strengthen the security mechanism and systems to mitigate farmers-herders’ crises banditry, kidnappings and insurgency in the North-East.
“The state government should increase the budgetary allocation of the smallholder women farmers’ in 2022 to N50m and ensure implementation.”
Also speaking during a chat with newsmen, Chief Executive Officer of Hope Foundation for the Lonely, Sarah Yapwa, urged government on timely release of funds allocated in the budget line.
On her part, Esther George, secretary of SWOFON Gombe State chapter, said the forum would advocate for an increase in budgetary allocation, adding that emphasis would be placed towards its implementation.