SWOFON wants Gender friendly Agric tools

Pita Chib, Minna

Smallholder Women Farmers SWOFON, in Nigeria has pleaded with the Federal Government to provide its members with " gender friendly tools" in order to boost their performances in farming.

SWOFON made the plea after a road walk by 540 members of the organisation in Minna Wednesday

The State Coordinator of the group Mrs Grace Disa,  who presented the demands of the women to the Permanent Secretary Niger State Ministry of Agriculture Dr Ibrahim Garba, said "Women no longer want to be involved in manual labour farming"

Disa also asked governments at all levels to provide 1480 power tillers to the women farmers at the rate of 2 tillers for each cooperative society adding that the association also require the same quantity of of hand planters  for each cooperative group.

She also solicited for the provision of improved seeds to the women farmers, adding that members of the group require not less than 102,661 bags of assorted fertilizer every farming season in addition to 25 kg bags of assorted  farm inputs.

" Smallholder women farmers believe that when these demands are met, it will directly improve the farm outputs of small - scale women farmers making them more productive and leading to an increase in their income

"In the long run there will be an improvement  in the livelihood of these women as they will be able to provide for themselves, their families and their communities," Disa explained 

The National Coordinator of SWOFON Mrs Omoboyowa Roberts, admonished the federal and state governments to lay more emphasis on agriculture as "it is the only genuine way to accelerate the economic growth of the country".

She also tasked governments to increase their annual budgetary allocation to agriculture for the various ministries to have the financial resources to address the demands of SWOFON.

Permanent Secretary Niger state Ministry of Agriculture Dr Ibrahim Garba,  promised to present the demands of the group to the government assuring that "the administration will surely look into these demands."

Garba however commended women in the state for their contribution to agricultural out put in the state, adding that more than 60% of people involved in different sectors of farming in the state are women.

The road walk started from the  Trade fair complex to the state secretariat before terminating at the Abdulsalami Abubakar Youth Centre
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