WOMEN farmers under the aegis of Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State have called on federal, state and local governments to give women farmers support in order to make them more productive and further develop agriculture in the State and Nigeria.
The call was made on behalf of the women farmers by the Oyo State Coordinator, Mrs Roseline Atinuke Akinbade, while speaking with the Nigerian Tribune during an awareness campaign which held in Ibadan, to intimate agriculture stakeholders and the general public of the existence of SWOFON in Oyo State.
She noted that the reason the association was formed is to empower women farmers and to ensure food suffiency in Oyo State and Nigeria. “We want the Oyo State government to assist us in the area of provision of land for farming, by providing for us fertliser and gender-friendly equipments such as hand planters, harvesters, sprayers and other farm equipments that will aid the smooth running of our farms.
“We also want the State Governemnt to increase budget allocation to the agricultural sector, pour capital investment progress for smallholder rural women farmers in the State, cassava-using industries in the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State and palm oil processing machines. We urge the government to give free or subsidised farm input such as organic fertiliser, maize seeds and cassava sticks.”
Akinbade, further stated that:”If the government empower women farmers, we will be able to make money and be in the best position to assist our spouses financially in the running of our homes.”
Also, speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, the National Coordinator, SWOFON, Omaboyewa Roberts, hinted that the project is ongoing in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory but with emphasis on five states namely: Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Anambra and Oyo.
“We have been to the Commissioner of Agriculture, we were also with the governor, Mr Seyi Makinde and he listened to our demands asking for increased allocation of budget to agriculture, increased seedlings for cassava and maize, gender-friendly equipment and more investment and inclusion of women farmers especially the rural farmers so that we can increase production.”