The Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) has called for a comprehensive review of the 2020 agriculture budget for the FCT. It made the call in its communique after the 2019 FCT Consultative/Citizens dialogue on the FCT Agriculture Budget forum held in Abuja. The forum was organized by SWOFON and the budget committee members of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Budgit, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Regents, International Budget Partnership (IBP), Trade Network Initiative (TNI), Centre-LSD and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) under the ActionAid Public Financing for Agriculture Budget (PFA) Project.
Participants said smallholder farmers, who are producers of over 70 percent of the food consumed in the FCT, are not currently involved formally in the agriculture budgeting planning processes. They said there is no formal guideline for involving smallholder women farmers in the budget cycle in the FCT as a result of which the budget is not a reflection of farmers’ needs and demands. “The budget-line allocation to ‘Women in Agriculture’ in the FCT Budget needs to be broken down to line items for proper understanding of the programme. “To facilitate smallholder women’s access to the programme it should reflect capital projects in the FCT agriculture sector supported by improved monitoring procedures by the Agriculture Development Programme. “MDAs and Bill and Appropriation committees of the National Assembly need to approve and ensure timely release of the 2020 appropriated FCT Agriculture Budget,” the communique also said. “Smallholder women farmers should advocate for group consultation in the review or finalization of the agriculture policy document, where the policy does not exist or is obsolete,” it added.
SOURCE: DAILY TRUST