Women farmers task Bauchi gov’t on national agricultural gender policy
Story from Najibullahi ADAMU, Bauchi
The Bauchi State Chapter of the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) has called on the Bauchi State government through the State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to create a budget line for the funding and implementation of the National Agricultural gender policy.
The State Chairperson SWOFON, Hajiya Marka Abass stated this during a one-day interactive forum on the 2021 World Food day, entitled “Better Production, nutrition, environment and life”, organised by the FAHIMTA Women and Youth Development Initiative in collaboration with the State Chapter of Small Scale Women Farmers with support from Action Aid Nigeria, which held at the Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme hall in Bauchi.
According to the State Chairperson of SWOFON, the federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in consultation with Small Scale Women Farmers Organisations, ministries, departments, agencies, developmental partners and Civil Society Organisations, produced the first national agricultural gender policy in 2019, which was aimed at promoting a gender-sensitive and response approach towards ensuring that men and women have equal access to Agricultural resources and funding.
She said that since the gender agricultural policy is also expected to drastically reduce the vulnerability of smallholder women farmers to various gender bias vices in agriculture and breach the gender gap, the Bauchi State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning should ensure that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development implement what was budgeted for women farmers in the state.
Hajiya Marka enumerated the demands of Small Scale Women Farmers in the state, saying “the state government should ensure gender equality through periodic impact analysis of all agricultural policies, programmes, projects and activities on smallholder women farmers as well as eliminate all forms of cultural, religious and gender bias in agriculture”
“The government should also review the land use act to address the issue of gender discrimination in land ownership and provide appropriate life-saving technology for smallholder women farmers through the green imperative project and other programmes. The government should support women farmers with training on nutrition and other sensitive agricultural programmes at the household level” she said.
Also speaking at the event, the State Commissioner Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Jidauna Tula said that commemoration of the 2021 World food day was timely and apt, considering the prevailing food insecurity in the country that is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effect on the food value chain as well as climate change across the country, a development he noted has disrupted farmers ability to produce, process and distribute food.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Yakubu Jibril Abdullahi, the commissioner reiterated the commitment of the state government to support smallholder women farmers in the state, stressing that the interactive forum will avail the women farmers the opportunity to brainstorm the actions to be taken, that will create the desired future in food security.
Earlier in her address, the Executive Director Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative, Hajiya Maryam Garba said that the Bauchi state government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been supporting women farmers in the state through the provision of farm inputs, training and funding.