SWOFON stakeholders made this disclosure on Wednesday during a presentation of the community scorecard on smallholder women farmers’ access to Agricultural inputs for the year 2019 -2022 at the Development Exchange Center (DEC) office in Bauchi.
FARMERS VOICE NG reports that the scorecard presentation was organized by Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria and Small Scale Women Farmers Organization (SWOFON).
Speaking during the meeting, the Bauchi State Coordinator of SWOFON, Marka Abbas, said the data collected in the community scorecard on Small Holder Women Farmers access to an agricultural farm input was very discouraging and a real reflection of the Plight of women farmers in the state.
Adding that the Bauchi state government need to support women farmers in the state 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 that 99.9 percent of women farmers are not accessing agricultural inputs.
According to Marka “ From the scorecard, you will see that 65 percent 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 percent indicated that the impact of the input distributed by the government was “Low extent” she said.
A representative of Fahimta and the Programme Officer Scaling up Public Investment in Agriculture (SUPIA), Faith Adidu said, the essence of the meeting was to disseminate information in the community scorecard on access to agricultural inputs to the relevant MDAs and stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the state in order 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 said.
In his contribution at the meeting, 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.
Also Speaking the Chairman House Committee on Agriculture in the Bauchi state House of Assembly, Hon Umar Yakubu, represented by the Secretary of Agriculture Committee, Isiyaka Jibrin Gital advised women farmers in the state to ensure that they liaise with stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the state, particularly the ministry of budget and economic planning so that their issues can be captured in the budget before it is passed into law.