Women farmers in the country, under the aegis of the All Farmers Association (AFAN), have called on President Bola Tinubu to make access to funds and inputs easier for them. The women farmers made the call during a news conference which had in attendance women in AFAN, in the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, among other stakeholders.
Speaking at the conference tagged; ‘Repositioning Women in Agriculture for Food Security and Empowerment’, the Head, Women in Agriculture of AFAN, Oyo State Chapter, Omolara Svensson, stated that women farmers can have easier access to funds and inputs by the government by ensuring that agencies like the Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria and other international donor organisations, work with AFAN women to provide the needed assistance to women. She said that Nigerian women farmers had been breaking their backs to produce food without getting any support from the government. Svensson, stated that Nigerian women constitute 70 to 80 per cent of the agricultural labour force, and also play pivotal roles in the food and agriculture value chain.
According to her, “the challenges we face are accessing land, credit facilities, training, maintenance and modern farming technology to boost food production. “Women’s empowerment in agriculture is not just about improving food production, but also addressing broader issues of gender equality and discrimination. Women farmers are the ones feeding the nation. We are working with grassroot farmers, we are not political farmers. Government should work with us as partners to ensure that whatever support they have for us get to the grassroots. Unfortunately, women still lack a voice in decision-making and policy matters”, she said. Also, the National Women Leader of AFAN, Enitan Onitiri, called on the President to support women farmers across the country to boost agriculture and ensure food security such that women farmers in the country would be ready to support and drive his food security agenda.
She said the women farmers have aligned programmes and policies to make sure that foods are available, affordable and accessible. “We have strategically align our programmes and policies in achieving the set objective, which will not only make food available, affordable and accessible, but create jobs and reduce poverty among women and youths. The women in AFAN in the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT, are set to make history through our strategic business partnership with development partners, non-governmental organisations, private organisations, government agencies and well-meaning individuals to improve Nigeria’s food chain”, Onitiri said. A social change Advocate, Amb. Zainab Mohammed, has urged the government to address the issue of insecurity in the country because insecurity in the country was a major cause of food scarcity.