Smallholder women farmers have access to less than 23% credit facilities – ActionAid

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has expressed concern that smallholder women farmers’ have access to less than 23 per cent of existing credit facilities, and only 4.77 per cent access to agricultural insurance.

The Country Director, Ene Obi said on access to and control over land, about 59 per cent of them have access to land, 29.77 per cent have control, while only 11.23 per cent are engaged in land governance discussions.

Ene while speaking at the National Dialogue and Dissemination on Nigeria’s Performance at the 3rd Biennial Review Exercise on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP) organised by ActionAid Nigeria said while government is making effort to improve the space for more Public Private Partnerships arrangements in Nigeria’s agriculture sector, smallholder women farmers’ access to such schemes across the country remains below 27%.

She said they collected a data/information through the VABKIT that reflected the lived realities of smallholder women farmers across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shows that nationwide, smallholder women farmers currently have only 18% access to processing facilities, 16.60% access to storage facilities, 13.50% access to off-takers/access to markets, 9.60% access to transportation for agricultural produce, and 42.30% access to trainings.

“On Extension Services, smallholder women farmers have access to only 5.26% farm demonstrations and 19.47% farmers field schools.

“We have been using the above data/information that reflected the lived realities of smallholder women farmers in our various policy influencing spaces where we are pushing the gaps as priority areas of where Scaling Up Public Investment in Agriculture is urgently needed in agriculture budgets and programmes both at the national and state levels.

“We have used the data at the national and state levels annual stakeholders consultative meetings on the agriculture budget, Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) State level interactive Forums with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and courtesy and advocacy meetings with State Permanent Secretaries and Commissioners of Ministries of Agriculture, Budget, and Economic Planning.

“For Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments, going forward, we hope that the three tiers of government would commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

“And investments should focus on strategic areas of Extension Services, Access to Credit, Women in Agriculture, Youth in Agriculture, Appropriate Labour-Saving Technologies, Inputs, Post-Harvest Losses Reduction Supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access, etc.), Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination,” she said.

Also, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,Dr Ernest Umakhihe who was represented by the Director Agric Land and Climate Change, Mr Oshadiya Olanikpekun explained that as a member-state, Nigeria began to implement the African Union Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (AU CAADP) in 2003, with the aim of accelerating Africa Agricultural Growth and Transformation in the continent.

He said the programme was reviewed in 2014 at the meeting of African Heads of States in Malabo Equitorial Guinea that gave birth to seven (7) commitments.