Rural women farmers from different states across Nigeria beseeched the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja to protest against government’s continued release of agriculture budget to those they described as ‘political farmers’.
The women farmers under the umbrella Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) gathered at the popular Unity Fountain, Abuja where they started there rally, before heading to the Agriculture Minister’s office, where they submitted a letter of protest and demand.
The National President of SWOFON, Mrs Mary Ishaya said the protest became necessary following government’s gross neglect of Smallholder women farmers in all it’s policy formulations and implementation.
She said despite the fact that women farmers account for approximately 72 per cent of agricultural Labour force in Nigeria, they have remained the most disadvantaged group, in terms of having access farming inputs.
Ishaya further stressed that most of the people who often have access to and hijack both government’s and donor’s funds and equipment for agriculture, were those that never have any farm, but political farmers.
“Smallholder women farmers in Nigeria (SWOFON)an association of over 500,000 rural farmers spread across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT welcome Mr. President’s goal of drastically reducing the vulnerability of women to biases in farming, bridging gender gaps, and also address the unequal gender power relations in the sector.
“Smallholder women farmers believe that when their collective demands are met, it will directly improve the farm yields and outputs of small scale women farmers”, she added.
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