The Nigerian Women for Agricultural Progress has appealed to President Bola Tinubu and members of his cabinet to include rural women when providing agriculture interventions for farmers in Nigeria.
NWAP’s National Coordinator, Omolara Svensson, while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, expressed dissatisfaction over the seeming neglect by the Federal Government in the provision of agriculture interventions to women farmers.
According to her, agriculture interventions were mostly given to urban farmers who often carry out minimal farming activities when compared to those in rural areas.
Svensson noted that despite the increase in agriculture interventions from the government, the production of agricultural produce has been on the decline.
This is another good reason why the government should work directly with the real farmers without the frequent use of intermediaries.
“To the government and our President, Bola Tinubu, we appreciate all that you do, but we want to ask, all the while that agricultural interventions were given, our food output decreased, however, agricultural intervention to farmers increased.
“The reason is because the real women farmers are not carried along, rather those that you carry along are farmers on paper, not real women farmers who cultivate the crops in their various rural communities.
“There is a disconnect between the real women farmers and the government. We are using this medium to appeal to the President and the Federal Government to work directly with women farmers without intermediaries,” Svensson stated.
She also appealed to women farmers to remain united and speak with one voice to get interventions from the government and promised that the association would continue to support the government in the sector.
The Federal Government has implemented various interventions in the agricultural sector, aiming to boost productivity, enhance food security, and create jobs.
In terms of financial support, the Central Bank of Nigeria has implemented several programmes that offer loans and credit guarantees to farmers at concessionary rates.
Some of them include the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, and Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security initiatives like the APPEALS Project and the National Food Security Programme provided grants and subsidised inputs to support production and processing.
Under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, the government entered into collaboration with Morocco to ensure affordable and accessible fertiliser for farmers, among other initiatives and interventions in the sector.