Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has called on the federal government to replace the use of old farming tools with mechanised equipment for efficient food production to address food insecurity.
FCT coordinator of SWOFON Mrs. Comfort Sunday, who made this call during the state level interactive forum with agriculture, Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDA’s) at the weekend in Abuja, also tasked the federal government to provide security to its members, who are unable to go to their farms as a result of increasing insecurity.
According to her “We are pleading to government to help us because the insecurity is effecting Nigerians. We are human beings which can’t survives without food because food is the major source of life.
“When you are eating, just rethink about the people that are producing it, because it is not easy for a human being to enter bush to put things in order to survive and bandits will come up with attack.
“Government hand had hands in the bandits, Because as we are crying for help we can’t see the change. government never rise to his responsibility to address insecurity challenge which that mean the government is pushing bandits to attack us, for government to be silent is killing us than bandits,” she said.
Also, the Executive Director, Keen and Care initiative (KCI), Josephine Alabi, called on government to create capacity building on technology for farming inputs to boost the country economy.
In her remarks, Bwari Area Council leader Mrs Wakilat Okaji, noted that FCT need to improve significantly allocation to extension service as a measure to bridge the deficit in that area of service to farmers. Increase spending for logistic support and qualified personnel would be required to improve service.
She said: “Agriculture sector must be given priority attention in the FCT in line with the Maputo Declaration in order to promote food and nutritional security in FCT as well as increase women farmer livelihood and contribution to agricultural development in line with the Gender mainstreaming policy of government directing gender inclusiveness in all programmed and project of government at all Level”.
Also speaking, the Programs/Head of Media, National Association of Nigeria Traders ( NANTS), Ago Omowu, noted that security threat to farming arising from the header-farmers conflict always received attention in the FCT budget and such should be commended.
He said: “Appropriations for extension services appears inadequate considering the
huge deficit confronting that service to famers and the below international practice of extension worker-to-farmer ratio.
“The allocation of 5millionn to training of farmers is also very poor and needs to be improved. There is a huge gap in extension agent farmer ratio, which has a limiting effect on technology transfer to women farmers.
“Appropriation to inputs is questionable with over a 1billion to non-fertilizer inputs and over 400million to fertilizer, these allocations are questionable.
“The 2021 FCT statutory appropriation (nominal value) achieved a 18.54% increase but such increment was not reflected in the appropriation to agriculture which increased by only 13%,” he said.