Lack of access to land, credit, major setbacks for women farmers– Actionaid

Actionaid has identifi ed lack of access to land, credit, market, and inputs among others, as major setbacks for the women farmers in Nigeria. Country Director, ActionAid, Ojobo Atuluku stated this recently, in Abuja at an event organized by the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON). SWOFON which is a network of women farmers in the country. she said the challenges of smallholder women farmers brought the group together to collectively seek sustainable solutions.

Actionaid, she said through public fi nance in agriculture was able to organize small holders women farmers in six states, and led to establishing offi ces across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Th is is even as she alslo warned that the country is at the brink of famine except federal government provides sustainable solution to end communal crisis and address the issue of herdsmen/farmers confl ict. Th ough the federal government recently set up a committee to resolve the crisis and the federal government also commenced domestication of the Malabo Declaration, but she explained that the north east is not the only region confronted with insecurity but other parts of the country. Th e Malabo Declaration seeks to cut poverty rate into half by 2025 through agriculture-led economic growth.

Th e event had in attendance women farmers from diff erent parts of the country who demanded for safety, inclusion of smallholder farmers in decision making regarding the nation’s agriculture and food security eff orts. Atuluku said: “Th e confl ict is there. Food has been aff ected; the confl ict is not only in the northeast but among farmers and herdsmen across the country. So until government is able to resolve that, we will not achieve food security target we are aiming by 2025. “Targets are set, targets help us move towards the goals we set but if things don’t change we will not achieve it. It is another milestone that government has committed to.
At a point of their commitment, citizens are happy but then things begin to drag.” Atuluku, who lauded eff orts of the federal government towards repositioning the agriculture sector, said beyond confl icts and communal clashes, there are issues of climate change impacts also aff ecting the sector. “No matter the positive policies government has in place; it will not see the light of the day until we tackle these issues directly,” she added. However, she appealed to the federal government to expedite action on resolving the confl icts to avoid gradual drift towards food shortage.

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