A COALITION of women farmers in Nasarawa, has urged the state government to formulate policies that would facilitate their access to agricultural support services for improved food production.
The coalition made the call at a press conference organised by Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Ogbonge Women group on Tuesday in Jos.
The conference was also in collaboration with Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN) and other women organisations.
The Leader of SWOFON in the state , Mrs Ruth Joseph, said that policies that support capacity building was crucial to ensure that women farmers were equipped with the required knowledge and skills to ensure food security.
She urged government to adopt such policies which would ensure access to the requisite information necessary for them to navigate climate change challenges, subscribe to new improved seedlings and other innovations.
She noted that women farmers in the rural areas usually experience greater losses resulting from inadequate information on weather outlook, climate change, new techniques and lack of access to modern farm tools.
”I want to appeal to the government to engage more extension workers to reach out to women farmers and build our capacities in the areas of modern farming,”she said.
Also speaking, the state Chairperson of ASSAPIN, Mrs Justina Bala, urged government to support women farmers in building resilience against climate change.
”As a small holder women farmers, whenever you are hit by impact of climate change it leaves us helpless.
”When your farm is being washed away it affects your livelihood, it makes the cost of living high because items in the market go up,”she said.
Also,Ms Patience Oomegho, a volunteer community-based Agric Extension officer explained that land tenure system was one of the major obstacle that impedes agricultural production and income generation of rural women farmers in Nigeria.
”So, we are saying that government at all levels and traditional rulers should look into this problem as regards to owning a land by women.
” They should evolve policies that will enable women to have a land given that women contribute a lot to food security,” she said.
Also speaking at the briefing, the leader of Ogbonge Women in Nasarawa, Mrs Patricia Onoja, urged government to eliminate bottlenecks that make access to micro credit facilities difficult for women farmers and award them interest free for improved output.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of YMCA Mada Hills Mr Ango Adamu, said that the press conference was organised as part of activities of the “Together Against Poverty” (TAP2) project supported by Oxfam Africa.
He said that the objective was to draw the attention of the government and relevant organisations in addressing the challenges women farmers confront while supporting and appraising the critical roles they play in food security.
TTags: Mrs Patricia Onoja Mrs Ruth Joseph