The Small scale Women Farmers’ Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) and the Budget Committee of the Public Financing of Agricultural (PFA) Project have advocated for gender-friendly agricultural policies in Kwara.
The groups made the call in Ilorin at a meeting with officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Mrs Bosede Anifowose, the Coordinator of the state chapter of SWOFON, said at the forum that women farmers had suffered protracted neglect under previous administrations in the state.
According to him, women farmers lack access to funds, market, land and gender-friendly machinery like their male counterparts.
Anifowose pleaded with the new government in the state to always consider women farmers in its agricultural programmes and ensure that inputs were distributed promptly.
The Coordinator of Budget for PFA Project, Mr Abdurrahman Ayuba, said that the group remained committed to increased quantity and improved quality of public investment in agriculture through citizens’ participation in policy making.
“In seeking to realise the objective, the committee with technical and financial support from the Actionaid Nigeria collaborates with the SWOFON in Kwara.
“The partnership regularly analyses government policies and engage policy makers with a view to ensuring adequate budgetary allocations and effective implementation of pro-people projects and programmes,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed Katsina, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that the new government was aware of the challenges enumerated by the groups.
He assured them that the ministry would henceforth work with the groups and address the mistakes of the past.
Katsina, who spoke through Alhaji Kayode Yusuf, the Director, Personnel, Finance and Supply in the ministry promised to brief the governor on the challenges.
He urged the groups to always contact the ministry for help and guidance.