• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Coalition of women farmers in Nasarawa decries destruction of food crops to flood

TUC decries govt’s inaction as floods sweep through states

A coalition of women farmers, under the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation have lamented lost of food crops, to an estimated sum of N500 million to flood, across the 13 local government areas of the state.

The women, while decrying the losses said, the flood has negatively affected socio-economic lives of their members in the state.

In a joint press briefing held in Lafia to mark World Food Day, with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), the women farmers expressed panic that the situation could throw their families into hunger if no intervention comes their way soon.

The theme of this year’s world food day is “Leave no one behind”, also had other partners as the Young Men’s Christian Association’s of Nigeria, Community Based Agriculture Extension Support Services, Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN) Community Based Women Farmers Organisations with support from Oxfam in Nigeria.

The essence was to ensure million of people worldwide who cannot afford a healthy diet and the need for regular access to nutritious foods.

Read also: Destruction as flood rages through Agege community

Juliet Sarki, the spokesperson of women farmers in the state however demanded for advancement of priority needs of small holder women farmers in the state to boost food production and improve their socio economic status.

“Over the years, small-scale women farmers have been faced with numerous challenges that have hampered their productivity and livelihood.

“Consequently, there is urgent need to advance the prioritisation of the livelihoods of small-holder women farmers in Nasarawa state.

“An example of such challenge is the poor access and ownership of farmlands by women. There is rising insecurity in the country and there is difficulty in accessing micro credits, loans and subsidies to improve their production.

“Nigerian agricultural labour force is dominated by women farmers. They constitute over 70 percent of the entire agricultural labour force and are involved in almost every aspect of the agricultural value chain.”

Sarki who is the Treasurer of the group explained that, women farmers who had been committed in ensuring there was food security in Nasarawa State by contributing significantly to the availability, affordability and accessibility of food had faced myriad of challenges.

Sarki said that, if the demands put forward to the state government were responded to, it would go a long way in addressing the current food shortages faced in the country, thereby ensuring availability of food in the future and safeguarding the livelihoods of women.

“Women’s role in the agriculture sector is significantly affected by socio economic factors, for the sector to advance in Nasarawa State, gender-specific policies and services tailored to women should be developed and implemented.

“The budget should address their challenges and the Nigeria gender policy in agriculture should be fully domesticated and implemented, Nasarawa State journey to food security is a collective efforts of all stakeholders,” she said.

The women farmers solicited creation of special intervention fund accessible to women farmers, provision of farm inputs, fertilisers, agro chemicals, improved seeds and seedlings.

Others are provision of gender friendly equipment for women farmers, training and retraining of women farmers on climate change adaptation strategies and disease outbreaks, recruitment of extension officers to facilitate the adoption of innovation.

Justina Anjugu, the chairperson of Association of Small Scale Agro Producers In Nigeria (ASSAPIN), narrated that 500 members of the association in Lafia Local Government alone lost their crops estimated at N50 million to the ravaging flood this year.

According to her, communities worse hit by the flood include: Loko, Doma and Tunga where many women farmers lost their crops to the flood.

She appealed to both federal and state governments, individuals and organisations to come to their aid.

Anjugu explained that, the flood affected over 15,000 women farmers across the 13 local government areas of the state, while corps worth N500 million were destroyed.

She added that poor access and ownership of farmlands, rising insecurity and difficulties in assessing micro credits and loans were some of the major challenges faced by women farmers in the state.

She further urged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to support women farmers across the state for more yields.