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Gombe women farmers want improved access to agric inputs

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Gombe women farmers want improved access to agric inputs

Farmers under the auspices of Smallholder Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) have appealed to the Gombe State government to increase women’s access to agricultural inputs being distributed in the state.

The State Chairperson, SWOFON, Mrs Airudia Mamman, made the call in Gombe on Thursday during a presentation of community scorecards on smallholder women farmers’ access to agricultural (farm) inputs in Gombe State.

Mamman said women were not being carried along in the distribution of farm inputs even though they constituted over 60 per cent of the farmers in the state.

She said there should be gender sensitivity when distributing any inputs going forward as that would ensure that women farmers benefitted from such exercise in the state.

Mamman stated that women farmers in Gombe State and Nigeria played major roles in efforts to ensure food security for the country, and “we are the ones processing too; so across value chain, we make the difference.

“There should be gender sensitivity so that when the inputs are distributed, women get their own. It should be specific. Even if it is 30 per cent, it will get to the grassroots and improve women farmers’ livelihoods.

“Women have higher percentage amongst farmers in terms of processing and packaging and even in production.”

According to Mamman, small-scale women farmers constitute more than 60 per cent of the farmers at the grassroots.

“We are smallscale farmers and with the little we produce, it goes a long way.

“If the efforts of women farmers are not taken into consideration, there will be food security in the country,” she said.

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She said it was imperative for women to be assisted with inputs if the government hoped to address poverty, especially in rural communities.“Today many women are widows and have become breadwinners of their families. If they are assisted, it would reduce hunger,” she said.

Mamman also appealed to the state government to distribute farm inputs ahead of 2023 wet season to help farmers prepare well in view of the first rainfall in the state.

Presenting the scorecard during the event, Ballin James, Project Officer, Hope for the Lonely Foundation said the objective of the exercise was to assess smallholder women farmers’ access to agricultural inputs and services in the state.

James said with the assessment, relevant stakeholders would be engaged to advocate improved access to such inputs for the women farmers.
She said the data for the assessment was collected from smallholder women farmers in the 11 Local Government Areas of Gombe State.

“Based on the assessment, it is recommended that there should be aggressive awareness on government distribution of agricultural (farm) inputs in Gombe State.

“Smalholder women farmers should be consulted in the design of inputs distribution model; distribution of farm inputs should be done directly to the stakeholders at the grassroots rather than state level so it can get to the targeted beneficiaries.

“There should be equal distribution of farm inputs across the state and there should be adequate budgetary allocation to farm inputs in the yearly agriculture budget,” said James.

The Voice Media Trust (VMT NEWS) reports that the assessment was carried out by HFL in collaboration with SWOFON and sponsored by Actionaid.

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