Food Security: Smallholder women farmers seek FG’s support

Smallholder women farmers in Nasarawa State have appealed for the government’s urgent intervention in addressing the challenges facing them and their counterparts in other parts of the country.

The women farmers said that the intervention would help to enhance food production.

They spoke at a one-day Agric Show organised Wednesday in Lafia by Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Mada Hills, in collaboration with Oxfam.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association is implementing the Together Against Poverty project in the State.

The event, with the theme, “Women as key actors for economic development”, was organised to celebrate the role of women farmers in food security and development in the state.

The women regretted that they were facing a lot of challenges.

They listed the challenges to include the lack of access to credit facility and farm inputs, such as fertilisers and herbicides, and farm implements to boost their production.

Felicia Micah, the Chairperson, Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria, Nasarawa Eggon chapter, said that middlemen were making it difficult for women farmers to have direct access to subsidised government farming inputs.

Micah appealed to the government to create links for direct access to small holder women farmers, instead of dealing with middlemen, who always allegedly hoard and sold farm inputs at higher prices to farmers.

A Chemical Engineer and Food Processor, Patricia Onoja, said even though she had passion to process seasoning food to reduce wastages, it took a lot of savings to purchase equipment to realise her dream.

Onoja appealed to the government to come to the aid of women farmers in order to increase their capacity to ensure food sufficiency in the state and Nigeria at large.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of YMCA Mada Hills, Ango Adamu, said the agric show was organised in recognition of the contributions of women to agriculture in state.

According to Adamu, the association brought about 250 women farmers from the grassroots, farmers’ organisations, NGOs and government agencies to the event.

He said that the event offered them the platform to exhibit their produce, interact and ask questions and exchange ideas so that they could learn from one another.

“That is the primary reason we are doing this and to increase women’s visibility.

“We want their voices and issues affecting them to be heard.

“They do a lot of work unrecognised. We feel women should participate in agriculture,” Adamu said.

Awards were presented to deserving women in crop production, livestock and food processing farming in the state during the show.

(C) NAN

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