ActionAid, women farmers call on government to ensure implementation of agricultural budget
ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) and Budget Committee Group in Kogi State, have called on governments at all levels to ensure real and timely release of budgetary allocations to the agriculture sector.
This was disclosed at the joint press briefing delivered in Lokoja on Tuesday by the Kogi State coordinator of SWOFON, Safiya Yahaya and chairperson of Budget Committee Group in Kogi, Mathias Okay, adding that the call has become necessary in order to boost food security across the country.
The NGOs dwelled on their appraisal of the approved budget for year 2022 in Kogi State, and demanded for critical review of the existing policies and framework on agriculture that would attract a good anchor and basis for budget formulation and implementation.
“There is a need to increase funding to the agricultural sector to meet up with its commitment in the state”.
“Agricultural funding should as well go to extension services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving, technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction, research and development, monitoring and evaluation as well as coordination”, the NGOs said.
However, they pointed out that the allocation of N100,000, 000 to Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, which they said is a step in the right direction. Also the allocation of N294, 658,174.84 to extension services, according to them, is small considering its desired need to farmers in the state.
The NGOs equally advocated that the State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture should enhance its oversight functions and mandate over the management of public funds in the sector to guarantee value for money, adding that there is need to ensure release of budgetary allocation to women farmers, increase in funding for purchase of small milling machines and other labour saving machines for small holder farmers and purchase of farm inputs such as fertiliser for subsidy farmers.