Small Scale Women Farmers Association of Nigeria, (SWOFON) has called on the Federal Government to beef up farmland security, citing the increased spate of insecurity as an impediment to the attainment of food security.
National President of the association, Mary Ishaya, made this known at the review of the national agriculture budget organised by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), in Abuja.
She stated that the attainment of countrywide food security would be unattainable if the security situation is not addressed.
Noting that the attacks were not just on female farmers alone, she added that the situation has forced a lot of them out of their farms.
She also said the situation was responsible for the increase in the cost of food items. Ishaya said food supply reduced because of the unavailability of crops, as the farmers abandoned their farmlands.
She said, “The challenge of insecurity does not affect our women farmers alone, but all farmers.
“Around October and November last year, we saw how some of our rice farmers were massacred in their farms when they went to harvest their rice. Because of that, a lot of people abandoned their farms.
“We are talking to the government on the need to tag food security with security because without security, we cannot produce. The cost of food is high because most of the farms were not cultivated or harvested or were destroyed or eaten up by cows.”
Meanwhile, the president also called for increased budgetary allocation for agriculture.
According to her, another purpose of the review was to check for possibilities of legislation and budgetary allocation, as it affects smallholders.