FCT women farmers seek role in Agric budgeting, policy making

Women farmers, under the umbrella of Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), FCT chapter, have solicited for their involvement in the Agricultural budget and policy making processes.

The women, who carried placards with various inscriptions at the FCTA office, to mark the International Women’s Day, to protest their exclusion from the budget making processes in the sector, said they need to be involved, to ensure their needs are captured in the budget.

They also demanded access to credit facility, access to modern farming implements and techniques, increased access to farm inputs.

They also demanded for a special budget tailored to smallholder women farmers, adding that FCT must implement the agricultural gender policy.

The Food and Agriculture Program Coordinator for Action Aid, Azubuike Nwokoye, while speaking to journalists said the implementation of the gender policy on agriculture in the FCT would ensure that direct programmes are developed to support smallholder women farmers.

He decried that the FCTA is yet to open up the Agricultural Budget Making processes such that smallholder women farmers can participate, saying there is no way to decide the budget lines without the farmers sitting on the table to highlight their needs and priority.

Also speaking, the Coordinator, SWOFON FCT Chapter, Comfort Sunday, said the International Women’s Day provided an opportunity for the organisation to make demands from government on things that can improve peace, justice, equity and fairness.

Sunday said among the issues they are pressuring the government to implement is gender equality and deliberate efforts towards improvement in agriculture.

“Today is our day. If you want the soup that you want to cook tomorrow to be better, you start the preparation today. So if we want better life for our children, we have to start it now hence we ask government to give more women seats in decision making process, and make gender equality a reality,” she said.

The Secretary, SWOFON FCT Chapter, Nnanna Mercy Chukwuma, noted that as the population increases the demand for food increases and workload on farmers also increases, hence the need for them to demand improved technology in agricultural sector, grants or soft loans to help improve their productivity, among other things.

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