The Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria,(SWOFON) in Bauchi seek for more support î Agricultural production from government at all levels.
The financial Secretary of SWOFON in Bauchi state Mrs Fatie Abdu Misau made the call in an Interview with Journalists Thursday in Bauchi, saying women farmers have witnessed low and unpredictable rainfall variations this year
According to her the dry spell is persisting as crops in some areas are seen showing moisture stress signs.
“As harvest is in full swing, farmers in the state are yet to commence the activity because onset was delayed and occasional dry spell is being experienced.
“This posed serious problems to the crusade on food sufficiency as majority of the farmers practise rain-fed farming system, with little supplemental irrigation in some areas,” She Said
Abdu said farmers suffered crop failure when they attempted early planting during the false onset and had to supply and later plant again, because there was a severe dry spell in the area.
“As a result of the dry spell the crops are wilting because there is no moisture to nourish them. The issue is, the rain ceased at the critical stage of its demand by the crops.” Hajiya Abdu said
She stressed that reaching women farmers requires removing the barriers they face in access to essential agricultural inputs.
“Such as land, machinery and loans. To improve women’s access to credit, support is needed in securing women’s equal land rights through legally recognized documentation,” Abdu said.
According to her, to achieve a Value chain in agricultural production, governments at all levels should ensure easy access to credit facilities to be made available to smallholder women farmers across the state.
“The government should provide more agricultural farm inputs, women friendly machineries and labour saving technologies for easy access to women farmers.
“There is the need for the federal and state governments to employ agricultural extension officers to train smallholder women farmers on good agricultural practice.” she said
Mrs Abdu also calls for expanding women’s access to land and rural finance: Providing women with greater access to land, finance, and production inputs is critical to closing the productivity gap between men and women.
“Microfinance institutions and other financial service providers with presence in rural areas can play a key role in supporting women farmers, to ensure that women benefit from land titling projects.
“Link women to agricultural value chains When women are linked to agricultural value chains from production all the way to processing and marketing,
“They help make traditional farming more productive and commercially viable. Inclusive value chains also offer work opportunities for women and men off the farm,” Mrs Abdu said.