The women wing of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on the federal government to facilitate support for members, decrying the difficulties in accessing aids for food production.
Omolara Svensson, head of women in Agriculture, Oyo State Chapter made this call in Abuja on Wednesday.
She noted that despite their significant contributions, women farmers are faced with numerous challenges including: difficulty in accessing land, credit facilities, training and machines.
According to her, empowering women in agriculture has entended beyond improving food production but also addressing broader issues of gender equality and discrimination.
“Women still lack a voice in decision-making and policy matters. AFAN, in its fight against hunger and poverty, holds a crucial position. I commit to tirelessly assisting women nationwide in realizing their agricultural potential and ensuring they have opportunities for food sufficiency.
“Women farmers are the ones feeding the nation. We are working with grassroot farmers, we are not political farmers. Government should work with us as partners to ensure that whatever support get to the grassroots.
Calling on the government to address the challenges faced in food production, Svensson said, “the bank of Agriculture is supposed to be our partners, we want to work with the government as partners. We cannot survive with commercial banks. There is a lot of conflict working together with them.
“We are working to make sure that our farmers have access to the right funding and at the right time. We need the right conversations and intervention from government to boost women farmers production.
“We call on President Tinubu to ask the bank of Agriculture, Nigerian Agricultural InsuranceCorporation as well as the central bank of Nigeria to with us. We have built ourselves from nothing to this level we are today. We are not getting any support from the government.”
In her remarks, Enitan Onitiri, the National leader of the group said that members have strategically align programs and policies to making sure that foods are avaliable, affordable and accessible.
According to her, “Agricultural business is not just the business of Government but our business and that’s why when Mr. President declared emergency on food security in Nigeria, which is in line with his 8 point agenda.
“We have strategically align our programs and policies in achieving the set objective which will not only make food avaliable, affordable and accessible but create jobs and reduce poverty among women and youths.
“The women in AFAN in the 36 states of Nigeria and FCT are set to make history through our strategic business partnership with development partners, NGOs, private organizations, government agencies and well meaning individuals to improve food system in Nigeria,” she said.