Kogi women farmers decry lack of access to agricultural inputs

Kogi women farmers decry lack of access to agricultural inputs
Kogi women farmers decry lack of access to agricultural inputs

Africa-Press – Nigeria. Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria, SWOFON, Kogi State chapter, has decried the impact of lack of access to agricultural inputs, saying it has affected food production in the state.

SWOFON stakeholders made this disclosure on Wednesday during the presentation of the community scorecard on smallholder women farmers’ access to Agricultural inputs, in partnership with Kogi State Budget Committee Group, BCG, with support from ActionAid Nigeria, in Lokoja.

Speaking, the Kogi State Coordinator of SWOFON, Hajiya Rukayat Lare Ahmed, called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in the state to support members of the organisation with timely distribution of matured seeds, adding that it was key to attaining zero hunger.

She said, “The right time is now. We have started preparing for the rainy season. What is next? We expect seeds, we want mature seeds.

*We expect that the Ministry will support us. It’s not everyone that has the money to buy early-matured seeds, that is why we want women to be empowered. When women are empowered it will improve the food production of the state, what we want is to get to zero hunger.”

Also, the Programme Officer of SWOFON, Hamza Aliyu, while presenting the scorecard, said smallholder farmers dominate the agricultural sector, adding that they produce 90 per cent of the total output.

“Yet they have difficulties accessing agricultural inputs. Women make up 70 per cent of agricultural labour, 50 per cent of animal husbandry-related activities and 60 per cent of food processing activities,” Hamza added.

He urged participants to scrutinise the scorecard which had inputs from women farmers across the 21 ocal government areas of the state.

Hamza said, “Even if it is negative it will keep us scaling up, it will help us to move forward. We want to see progress in agricultural activities in Kogi State.

“We want to see how women farmers will have access to inputs; without inputs there is no agriculture. This is a beautiful time to look at it.”

On his part, the Kogi Commissioner for Agriculture, Timothy Ojomah, said access to inputs has been a major challenge, adding that the present administration has recognised the importance of women in farming.

“With regards to inputs this has been a very serious problem because it can’t get to everybody but the present government has recognised the importance of women farmers in Kogi State.

“Your leadership should be active as to our activities in the Ministry so that by the time we commence distribution they will know,” Ojomah added.

He lauded the women farmers for involving the Ministry in their activities.

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