Governments, Donors Failing Women Farmers In Climate Change Fight – Oxfam


Women farmers are not getting the resources they need to feed their families and communities and adapt to climate change, findings by an international non-governmental organisation, Oxfam in Nigeria has shown.

The findings was from analysis by Oxfam on policies and public investments in six countries.

According to Oxfam, this exposes a sham in the rhetoric and commitments by countries and donors to shore up the agricultural sector and to focus support on women farmers.

Oxfam looked at agricultural policies and public investments in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania and found two major problems. According to the report. ‘‘First, very little money is going to support small-scale farmers and helping them become more resilient to climate change. Second, it’s almost impossible to know how much is really reaching women farmers, a group especially threatened by climate change.

“Climate change is not some far-off threat; it’s here now and putting lives in danger,” said Rashmi Mistry, the head of Oxfam’s GROW campaign. “Governments are breaking their promises to give more resources to farmers. Women on the front lines of climate change can’t continue to struggle on while waiting for money to trickle down to them. Investing directly in women farmers not only helps them and their families, it bolsters the food security for entire communities.”

The organization also called on donor governments to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and step up their funding aimed at helping communities adapt to climate change. Developing countries must increase funding specifically for women farmers. African countries must also honor the Maputo Declaration that commits 10 percent of all government spending to go on agriculture development.

‘‘These commitments offer huge benefits. Discriminatory attitudes and policies mean women farmers produce about 20 to 30 percent less than men – closing this gap would lift millions out of hunger and poverty.

The countries investigated by Oxfam are all struggling to get enough climate adaptation funding. In Pakistan, just 26 percent of the $1.17 billion in climate finance they received in 2014 went to adaptation. Worse still, as of this May, Nigeria has received only $15 million for adaptation—a sliver of what others have had. As of last year, multilateral adaptation funding for small-scale farmers totaled just $345 million, far short of the many billions that estimates show developing countries will need.

In Nigeria, volatility of prices, weather/climate change, conflict have made access to food particularly harmful for vulnerable people and this has led to hunger and malnutrition. You know Nigeria accounts for 15 percent of under-five child mortalities worldwide, and in the Northern part of the country starvation has wiped out this age group entirely, said Abdulazeez Musa, Head of Influencing and Public Engagement, Oxfam in Nigeria.

“The need for transformation in food security can’t be more urgent. And yet, Nigeria has no shortage of policies in place that could theoretically support small scale farmers.

For example, The country’s Vision 20:20 about the economic diversification away from the oil sector; the national agricultural policy with plenty of services to farmers; the Anchor Borrowers program with great linkage to market; the National Agricultural Resilience Framework (NARF) with services for risk management in agriculture, all these policies are commendable”, Musa said.