The Nigerian Small Scale Women Farmers, ActionAid, Kogi Budget Committee, have called on the Kogi State government to increase budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector.
The groups equally called for the prompt release of funds to farmers in the state, to carry out their agricultural activities at appropriate farming seasons.
They made the demands during a recent press conference to analyse the 2023 Kogi State budget, in Lokoja.
Hamza Aliyu, the executive director, of Initiative for Grassroots Advancement, and member, of the Kogi Budget Committee, decried the N9.5bn budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector for 2023, representing 5.3 percent of the total budget, which he described as grossly inadequate, adding that the needed budgetary percentage to agriculture should not be below 10 percent of the budget size, as the agric budget was more of capital than recurrent expenditure.
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“Funding agriculture properly is more important than any other sector of the economy in view of its role in food security and wealth creation. It is disturbing that out of the N172bn Kogi budget, agriculture was allocated only 5.3 percent, one of the least sectors.”
He, however, commended the government for an increase in budgetary allocation to areas like women farmers, farm inputs, agric extension services, and post-harvest losses.
Aliyu enumerated the recommendations of the coalition as follows: the need to review existing policies and framework on agriculture, increase funding to the sector to meet the 10 percent declaration, improvement in commercial agriculture, extension services, post-harvest losses, the release of budgetary allocation to women farmers, purchase of farm inputs, enhanced legislative oversight, climate resilient/sustainable agriculture as well as research and development.