Food Security: Women farmers urges Gombe govt to scale-up funding in agric
The Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Gombe State chapter, has called on the state government to scale up funding in agriculture to boost food security in the state and Nigeria.
This call is part of the resolutions reached on Tuesday at the end of a one-day public financing for agriculture budget committee summit held in Gombe.
The summit was held to share experiences, best practices and build a link towards achieving Scaling up Public Investments in Agriculture (SUPIA).
Our correspondent reports that the summit was organised by Hope Foundation for the Lonely and sponsored by ActionAid Nigeria.
While reading the communiqué, Mr Yusuf Atiku, the acting chairman, Public Financing for Agriculture, Budget Committee, Gombe state said increased investment in the sector would increase food production, reduce hunger and poverty.
Atiku stated that the forum listed areas that the investment should cover to include extension services, access to credit, women and youth in agriculture, technologies, inputs and post-harvest losses reduction.
The forum also called on the state government to come up with a state investment plan for the agriculture sector which should be a compilation of the local council’s agriculture investment plans that contain local crops with comparative advantage.
“Most farming activities are seasonal and are determined by climatic conditions; funds release should be considered while giving priority to dry season farming.”
The forum observed marginal increase in agriculture budget allocations in Gombe state between 2012 and 2021, however, urged the government to scale up budgetary allocation to the sector to meet the 10 per cent Maputo Declaration benchmark.
The forum also called for funding of mechanisation of the sector as doing such would “not only means more food but also create jobs to engage youths that have turned to crime for a living.”
While urging the state government to release the budgeted funds to SWOFON, the forum commended the state government for taking their observations and recommendations in the preparation of the proposed 2022 budget of the state.