Association pledges to key into govt. agriculture programmes

Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) said the association would key into all government agriculture programmes that would reduce poverty level and benefit women farmers.

The President of the Association, Mrs Mary Afan, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to her, the association intends to mobilise more women, build their capacity and engage them on the need for increased investment on the agricultural sector.

“We will create market linkages, value chain development and engage with other stakeholders to advocate for inclusion in budget and planning processes and have access to single digit interest rate.

“We have a budget line for small holder women farmers in the National and State budgets. We are pushing for timely access to inputs and equipment at the beginning of farming season,’’ she said.

She said that the organisation was working on a proposal for Bank of Agriculture on Microcredit and to collaborate with other organisations for the overall interest of women farmers in Nigeria.

“We are looking for a way to raise funds, as funding is one of the challenges.

“There is also the challenge of implementation of government policies in agriculture to favour smallholder women farmers in Nigeria,’’ Afan said.

The President noted that women in Nigeria constituted 60 to 80 per cent of the agricultural labour force but their access to agricultural related services of credit, inputs, technology, training and advice are limited.

“Funds will help our “Voices of SWOFON on the Malabo Declaration’’ a project already being implemented in Plateau, Enugu, Cross River and Kaduna.

“It is an innovative project which will be implemented by smallholder women farmers, amplifying their roles in Nigerian agriculture and seeks to address the challenges of limited participation of smallholder women farmers.

She said the programme design and implementation is with specific focus on the policy challenge of lack of support and participation of smallholder women farmers in Value Chain development programmes.  


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