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Ondo women farmers seek improved budgetary provision for farm inputs

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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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