WOMEN farmers, under the aegis of Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) in Ondo state, have called on state government to always make adequate provisions for farm inputs in its annual budgets
The state coordinator of SWOFON, Grace Oyediji, made this appeal during the dissemination of a community scorecard on the agro-women initiative of Ondo State, organised by the Justice Development and Peace Centre (JDPC), in collaboration with Actionaid Nigeria.
According to her, “SWOFON is there to help the state government, and we are not going to fail you. The Ondo State ministry of finance needs to release the money to agro-women initiative for food security.
“We need to go into mechanised farming in Ondo state; we are doing this assessment not to hurt the state government but to let the government have a success story regarding farming.
“We want to move from a smallholder farmer to higher holder farmers and we want to appeal to all our women farmers out there to beat down the prices of food in Ondo State.
“The government needs to put more effort in providing adequate security for our farmers across the 18 local government areas of the state.”
Also speaking, the JPDC Programme officer,
Austin Ogunleye, asked the state government to involve women farmers in the development of agriculture especially in the area of training and provisions of input.
Ogunleye said; “The government should ensure smallholder women farmers should be part of the design of agro-women initiative so that they can decide the kind of input and training that will improve their productivity.
“Distribution of farm inputs should be done directly to the stakeholders at the grassroots rather than state level so that it can get to the targeted beneficiaries.”
While giving breakdown on the low involvement of women’s involvement in agriculture, the State coordinator, Active Citizen on Agriculture, Olamide Omoduni, said primary data showed that 83 percent of smallholder women farmers indicated that their various cooperatives have not received agricultural inputs from the government in the past four years in the state.
Omoduni said the lack of annual distribution of inputs and training for smallholder women farmers from agro-women also added to low yields across the state.
The state commissioner for Agriculture, Olayato Aribo, said the government acknowledged the effort of the farmers in the state towards ensuring the availability of farm products.
Aribo, represented by the administrative secretary, Ondo State Agric Inputs Supply Agency, (AISA) Adeola Akinyugba, said: “We need to commend the Governor Akeredolu’s led administration in the areas of distribution of farm inputs to the farmers.
“The government has also approved an additional N22 million to discharge our services to farmers; the season of no inputs to farmers has been put to an end in Ondo.
The Special adviser to Governor Akeredolu on gender, Mrs Olamide Falana, who also spoke at the event, said the state government has consistently given support to the agro-women initiative in the state.
Falana, however, said there was a need for more engagement of agro-women farmers with the state government in order to ensure food security.
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