Women farmers in Bauchi State, under the aegis of Small Scale Women Farmers of Nigeria (SWOFON), have called on the State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to conduct interactive sessions with women farmers to capture budget issues in order to make the budget and policy processes inclusive.
Speaking with DAILY POST in Bauchi with the Bauchi State Chairperson SWOFON, Hajiya Marka Abbas made this known during a one day Interactive Forum on the 2022 World Food Day with theme “Leave No one Behind”, organized by Small Scale Women Farmers in collaboration with Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with support from ActionAid Nigeria, wish was held at the BSADP Conference hall in Bauchi.
According to the SWOFON Chairperson, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in consultations with Small-holder Women farmers, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations produced the first National Gender Policy in Agriculture in Nigeria which was launched in 2019.
She said that the State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should constitute a gender steering committee which will include SWOFON for the implementation of the Gender policy in the agricultural sector in a bid to offer equal access and gender- sensitive approaches towards food production.
“The Bauchi state Government through the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should create budget lines for funding and implementation of the National Gender policy in Agriculture.Massive investments should focus on tackling post-harvest losses through processing and storage facilities, trainings, market access amongst others to mitigate problems of climate change, insecurity and farmers herders clashes in Bauchi state ”
“On the implementation of the National Gender policy in Agriculture, Gender units in the state in collaboration with relevant agencies should train small-holder women farmers on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.The State government should urgently review the Land Use Act to address issues of gender discrimination in land ownership in the land ownership in the state” She said
Also Speaking during the event, the State Commissioner Ministry of Environment and Housing, Hamisu Shira , said that although Agriculture is the main source of income of about 80 percent of rural dwellers which contributes to more than 22 percent of National Gross Domestic product, the Northeast region of the country still struggles with the problem of food insecurity which has over the years been compounded by the problem of climate change.
Represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mahmood Mohammed, the commissioner said that poor agricultural practices and the problem of climate change will continue to pose a great challenge to the issue of food security if stringent measures are not taken into consideration, hence all hands must be on deck in order to achieve food sufficiency.