Lack of labour-saving technology affecting women farmers’ health – SWOFON

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SWOFON
SWOFON

SMALL Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), has lamented the health challenges faced by women farmers due to lack of gender-friendly labour saving technologies.

The group, in a communiqué issued at the end of its two-day 2019 National Annual Farmers Forum held in Abuja, said that women farmers were using obsolete technologies that task their strength and health.

The communique was signed by the National Coordinator, Omaboyowa Roberts.

“Smallholder women farmers face deplorable labour activities that often lead to deterioration in their health, while consuming time in a manner that hamper productivity.

“There is the need to enhance development of labour saving and productivity improving technologies; there is also the need for increased access to fabricated labour saving equipment leveraged on technology.

“Smallholder women farmers, who are producers of over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s food, are not involved in the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme and are unable to access the compensation for losses during our farming cycle.

“Therefore, there is need for proper mechanisms and engagements to be put in place to enable us access insurance support.

“It is also of great importance for evaluation and monitoring mechanisms to be developed to monitor the dissemination of claims and claims process.

“Smallholder women farmers have difficulties in accessing credit facilities for improved agriculture business; there is a need to conduct regional engagement activities to sensitise them on the opportunities that exist for improved and increased access to credit.

“Access to land and ownership and control of land is another challenge for smallholder women farmers in Nigeria. Government must develop and implement gender-friendly policies that support them to inherit land.

“In addition, the Land Use Act needs to be reviewed to make the ownership and control of Land by women positive in Nigeria,” it said.

SWOFON also alleged that most government initiatives on agriculture were hijacked by political farmers, and suggested the creation of Smallholder Farmers committees in the legislative assemblies at national and state levels.

“Government needs to support smallholder women farmers with capital investment initiatives and projects to encourage and strengthen the partnerships and collaboration efforts.

“These investments and initiatives should also be aimed at enhancing, promoting and amplifying success stories of women farmers.

“This will help to drive commercial linkages, improve productivity, and increase women’s participation in the agriculture value chain.

“There is also need for increased allocation for small holder women farmers in the agriculture budget across states and at the national level.

“Annual budgets need to be approved and released on time with the effective support of the MDAs and the Appropriation Committees of the legislative assemblies,” it said.

It added that in order to ensure effective access to extension services for small holder women farmers across the country, there was an urgent need to improve investment in the provision of enhanced and effective extension services.

It stressed that such investment would have to target the recruitment, training and deployment of extension services personnel while equipping them with the necessary means to deliver on their mandate.

It also called for deliberate and improved investment in research and development to improve farm yields.

On objectives of the 2019 farmer’s forum, SWOFON said that it provided an avenue for women farmers to interact with key stakeholders, including donors, on enhanced participation and involvement of women farmers in agricultural policies and programmes.

The national annual farmer’s forum, often organised by SWOFON, is supported by ActionAid under the ActionAid Public financing for Agriculture Budget (PFA) Project.

The SWOFON 2019 national annual farmers forum had in attendance, representatives from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capita Territory (FCT).

Also in attendance were stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Centre for Social Justice, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Agribusiness Network, among others. (NAN)

– Dec. 9, 2019 @ 8:15 GMT |

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