Small-scale Women Famers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) has urged the Federal Government to release the 10 per cent allocation provided in the federal budget for agriculture.
SWOFON project, funded by Trust Africa with implementation from actionaid, made this call in Calabar, Cross River State, during its Community Scorecard on the Support and Participation of Smallholder Women Farmers in the Value Chain Development Programmes in Cross River State.
The South-south Coordinator, Mrs. Maria Ukpanyang stated that as at last week only 1.26 per cent has been given to farmers out of the 10 per cent allocated in the budget. She said this has affected chain of production of food in the country because 80 per cent of agricultural produce is got from rural farmers who are mostly women.
Ukpanyang said; “They have not made that commitment so how do we eradicate poverty? How do we reduce hunger if we do not commit money to that and we are talking agriculture?
“80 per cent of Agriculture is done by women at the rural areas, that is why we have women coming up to ask, we are not fighting, but we are demanding that 10 pere cent should be allocated to agriculture and from there, we will know how much is allocated to rural areas.”
While analysing SWOFON’s community scorecard, she said women have been deprived of credit facility to run their farms.“Women don’t have land right. Women don’t have property to keep, even when you have, you might work and work and the credit facility is not available and so we do not have access to credit facility, but we don’t mean it should be given free but if it is given free, we should be monitored so that even the free is not misused.
Managing Director of Cross River Basin Authority, Edet Mkposong, assured SWOFON of support for women in small agro business in the state.Mkposong, who was represented by Director of CRSBA, Wilsin Esin, noted that, “this partnership we believe will go very far because we are passionate about farming and agriculture and CRSBA is identifying fully with you. The only way we can do that is to cooperate with one another.”