The Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) has urged the Federal Government to provide its members with gender friendly agricultural equipment toward boosting their performances.
Mrs Grace Disa, the Niger state Coordinator, SWOFON made the call when she visited Dr Ibrahim Garba, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Minna after a road walk in Minna.
“Women no longer want to be involved in manual labour in the farm,’’ she said.
Disa also asked governments at all levels to provide 1, 480 power tillers and same number of hand planters to the women farmers at the rate of two for each cooperative society.
She called on government to provide improved seeds to the women farmers, saying that members of the group require not less than 102, 661 bags of assorted fertilisers and 25 kg of assorted farm inputs every farming season.
“We believe that when these demands are met, it will directly improve the farm outputs of small-scale women farmers making them more productive and leading to increase yield and income.
“In the long run, there will be an improvement in the livelihood of these women as they will be able to provide for themselves, their families and their communities,’’ she said.
Also Mrs Omoboyowa Roberts, the National Coordinator SWOFON appealed to the three tier of government to emphasis on agriculture as “it is the only genuine way to accelerate the economic growth of the country’’.
Omoboyowa also tasked government to increase annual budgetary allocation to agriculture for the various Ministries Departments and Agencies to enable them address the demands of SWOFON.
Responding, Dr Ibrahim Garba, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development assured the group that their demands would be forwarded to the Commissioner, Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro.
“I am sure that government will look into these demands and implement them.’’
Garba lauded the women farmers for their contribution to agricultural output in the state.
“I must tell you that more than 60 per cent of people involved in different sectors of farming in the state are women,’’ he said.
Some of the women carried placards with the inscription; “Money invested on women farmers is not a waste’’.
“Include women farmers in budgeting to avoid hunger catastrophe.
“Women farmers feed the nation and women constitute 70 per cent of the workforce.’’