Some women farmers across the country have appealed to government at all levels to ensure quick implementation of the National Gender Action Plan on Agriculture to help them increase food production.
The farmers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, urged government to `work the talk’ to encourage more women in agriculture.
NAN reports that the plan was launched by the Federal Government on Oct. 18 to support and empower women farmers to move from subsistence to commercial farming.
The plan is also geared toward facilitating food and nutrition security, increased access to finance, enhance value chain approach and sector governance amongst women.
Mrs Rita Izunwanne, a bee farmer and the Director, Home Food United Kingdom Limited, said the government usually made policies without proper implementation.
“I have tried so many times to get farmland from the government but all to no avail, but I have tried to do something on my own.
“I have never seen anything that the government has done for women farmers. The government always makes policies without implementation.
“They keep on promising and nothing comes out of them.
“If the plan is implemented, it will boost our morale and we will be very serious with food production.
“We will be encouraged knowing that the government has come to our rescue and we will do things better because without the women, agriculture cannot thrive.
“I will advise the government to be realistic, let them start from somewhere. I know that it is not easy but let them start and when they start, we will work harder,’’ she said.
Mrs Laraba Ezekiel, a groundnut, millet and guinea corn farmer from Kaduna State, told NAN that the plan when implemented would help her to expand her farm.
“I will open my farm more if they implement the plan very quickly because we need help in farming. You make a whole lot of money from farming.
“They should not lie, government usually talks and they will not implement. They should try and make finances available to women farmers to improve our yields.
“Most of the times, we see this type of plan but it will only be talk without actions,’’ she said.
Another woman farmer, Mrs Olu Toluhi, a cowpea farmer, urged the government to include and encourage women farmers to embrace local and global standards.
“If every Nigerian woman farmer is encouraged to farm according to global standards, what it means is that her products are less perishable because she will choose her seedlings correctly, employ good agronomic practices.
“Let the finances and support from the plan be tagged to good agricultural practices and standards,’’ Toluhi said.
NAN recalls that Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, during the launch of the plan said it would turn around the fortunes of women in the agricultural sector.
Ogbeh said the plan would also facilitate a coordinated approach to interventions in the sector to track results and deepen impact for the targeted group. (NAN)
– Oct. 22, 2018 @ 14:29 GMT