The Jigawa State Chapter of Smallholder Women Farmers in Nigeria (SWOFON), has solicited for farm inputs and gender friendly equipment from government.
Hajiya Hadiza Abdulwahab, SWOFON State Coordinator, who presented a list of the requests to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, described it as a progressive step for communities where farming was their main occupation.
Abdulwahab said the provision of gender friendly equipment according to the needs and strength of women would go a long way to relieve women of fatigue.
The Coordinator solicited for 67, 915 bags of fertiliser, 10, 000 bags of rice seed, 3, 583 bags of maize seed, 2, 718 power tillers and 2, 718 hand planters.
She said the move had become imperative because the backbone of any agricultural revolution was farmers’ access to modern agricultural inputs.
The Coordinator noted that the gesture would directly improve the output of small-scale women farmers in the state and would also make them more productive, as well as ensure increased income for them.
She added that in the long run, there would be an improvement in the livelihoods of the women farmers, as they would be able to provide for themselves, their families and communities.
Abdulwahab said women were determined to end hunger; and it was a known fact that if women had equal access to productive resources, they would increase their yields and feed more hungry people.
According to her, though women make up to half of the agricultural labour force, barriers to credit, inputs and extension services, as well as land ownership and rights, limit their production.
“It is certain that women are more likely to reinvest their income into their families to improve education, nutrition and health; when women flourish, families and communities do too.”
Abdulwahab disclosed that the move was an ongoing exercise in five selected states across the country and the FCT, where the priority demands of 500, 000 smallholder women farmers would be submitted.
“The five states are Jigawa, Niger, Nassarawa, Anambra and Oyo.
“Currently, we have over 500,000 rural farmers working in different communities across the 36 states of the federation,’’ she said.
SWOFON is a coalition of women farmers associations and groups across Nigeria with the goal of advocating for and supporting women farmers, especially those in rural areas.