Chima Azubuike, Gombe
Small holders women farmers in Gombe on Wednesday tasked the state government to improve budgetary allocation from N35 million to N50 million in 2021 budget line adding that improved and timely release will boost yields across the state.
Jonathan Bulus, chairman of Communique drafting committee stated this at an event organized by smallholder’s women farmers organization gombe state (SWOFON), Hope Foundation for the Lonely in collaboration with Action Aid Nigeria on Public Financing of Agriculture at the stakeholders consultative meeting on 2021 Agriculture Budget.
While commending the increase of budgetary allocation of Agriculture budget of the state from N30M to N35M, SWOFON urged the state government to increase the budget line to N50M in 2021, adding that it will boost food security of the state.
According to the Communique, it partly states, “Gombe state government should ensure the budget implementation as budgeted in the Ministry of Agriculture budgetary allocation for smallholder’s women farmers.
“The government should ensure easy access to credit facility at single digit interest rate to be made available to smallholder’s women farmers across the state.
“The Federal and State government should employ agricultural extension officers to train smallholder’s women farmers on proper use of Agro-chemicals and other Agricultural techniques.
“There should be a steady and deliberate incremental commitment to Agriculture budget such that 10% of the Malabo agreement is achieved in the yearly budget.
“The government should purchase more Agricultural farm inputs and machineries.
“The state should increase the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
“Strengthening the security mechanism/ systems of security and stop famers-herders crises in the state by establishing Modern Ranching, Abattoir and Processing systems.
“The state government should Increase the budgetary allocation of the smallholder’s women farmers’ in 2021 to Fifty Million Naira (N50m).
“Gombe state government should ensure timely procurements and distributions of farm inputs (especially organic fertilizers) to smallholder’s women farmers.”
On his part, Director Hope Foundation for the Lonely Mansa Musa Adamu called for more support for small holder women farmers urging government to give the group the much needed attention.
Adamu added that the female farmers consist of over 70% of farmers population noting that majority are in subsistence farming but with large contribution to the food security of the country.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Agriculture, Muhammad Magaji highlighted the various efforts of the Inuwa Yahaya led administration adding that they are geared towards supporting Women farmers and Agricultural sector in general.
Magaji who was represented by Engr. Yunusa Mele said more than half of the fertilizer distribution had reached the various polling units.
“Governor Inuwa Yahaya has brought so many developmental projects particularly in the agricultural sector. If I’m to mention but a few, 20,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer has been procured comprising of NPK and Urea. More than half have reached the polling unit is something which has been done but was not done for long this procurement is on time.
“Other agricultural inputs like water pumps sprayers, mini multi purpose threshers, animal vaccines have been procured by the government. So also grazing reserve is being mapped, this is to reduce the herder, farmer conflict. 2020 budget was increased from N30M to N35M this is an improvement,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a staff of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Daniel Paul Madaki, who spoke on Agriculture Promotion Policy urged farmers who are beneficiaries of anchor borrowers scheme to refund the loan noting that it is honourable.
He added that organic fertilizer and farming should be encouraged to eliminate cancer related concerns.