The Kogi State chapter of the Small Holder Women Farmers Association of Nigeria (SHOWFAN), has urged the state government to involve women farmers in the budgeting processes for agriculture.
This, according to the association, is to enable women farmers participate actively in the public financing of agriculture and make their inputs into the state agricultural Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS).
The President of the association, Hajia Hajaratu Momoh, made the call during an advocacy visit to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Femi Abolarin, at the weekend, in Lokoja.
Momoh said women constituted a critical component of agriculture practitioners in developing countries, comprising an average of 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force and contributing to ensuring food security and nutrition.
She expressed regret that in spite of their wealth of knowledge and capacity, women farmers were mostly neglected by policy makers on the altar of gender discrimination and “often disproportionately affected by poverty and hunger.’’
She said that the inclusion of women farmers in the MTSS processes would ensure that priorities in agriculture, food development planning and execution strategies were met, to guarantee them access to development packages.
Also speaking, Mrs Esther Onalo, SHOWFAN leader in Igalamela-Odolu Local Government Area of the state, urged the government to ensure the involvement of women in the sector to fast-track the development of communities through increased agricultural production.