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SWOFON demands implementation of national gender policy on Agriculture to boost food production in Bauchi

Members of the Bauchi State SmallScale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) are demanding the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture in Bauchi state to boost food production and promote food security.

The demand according to the Coordinator of SWOFON in Bauchi state, Marka Abbas is in line with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in consultation with Smallholder women farmers, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations collaborate which produced the first National Gender Policy in Agriculture in Nigeria, launched in 2019.

It was at the end of a 1-DAY Interactive Forum ON 2022 World Food Day organized by Small Scale Women Farmer’s Organization In Nigeria, Bauchi State Chapter in collaboration with the Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development with funding by ActionAid through Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative with the theme ‘Leave NO ONE behind held at the conference hall of State Agricultural Development Programme (BSADP) on Friday.

She added that in recognition of the importance of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture towards Smallholder Women Farmers’ productivity, ActionAid Nigeria simplified and trained smallholder women farmers on the policy focusing on key provisions that speak to smallholder farmers.

SWOFON also demands that the Bauchi State Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
should create budget lines for funding and the implementation of the Nation
Policy in Agriculture.

Also, the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning should ensure that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development implement as budgeted in order to promote growth and development in the Agriculture sector and Bauchi State at large.

The demand is also that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Should conduct an interactive session with Smallholder women farmers in order to capture real-time budget issues, which will make the budget and policy processes inclusive.

Furthermore, funds allocated to Women in the State Agriculture Budget should be released as budgeted to support the implementation of human capital development activities for members to improve agriculture knowledge.

Also, massive investments should focus on tackling post-harvest losses through processing facilities, storage facilities, training, market access, climate change, insecurity and farmers’ herders’ clashes in Bauchi State.

SWOFON also demands that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should constitute a Gender Steering Committee which will include SWOFON for the Implementation of the Gender Policy in the agricultural sector, in a bid to offer equal access and gender-sensitive approaches towards production.

On the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture, SWOFON wants Bauchi State, Financial Institutions and Development Partners as captured in the policy to close the large gender gap in extension services and the farmers and extension agent ratio.

SWOFON also wants Gender units in the State in collaboration with relevant agencies should train smallholder women farmers on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies while the State governments should specially design capacity development programmes to improve the capacity of Smallholder Women Farmers on mitigation and strategies against Climate Change and provide access to organic fertilizers and control of the pest.

Also, the gender unit of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should establish new mechanisms and indicators for data collection which should be gender-sensitive, specifically reflecting the concerns of smallholder women farmers.

The State Government should ensure gender equity, through the periodic impact of all agricultural policies, programmes, projects, and activities on smallholder farmers as well as eliminate all forms of culture or religious-based gem in Agriculture.

The government should urgently review the Land Use Act to address gender discrimination in land ownership in the State while the State Ministry of Agriculture should provide appropriate labour-saving for smallholder women farmers through the Green Imperative Project and other programmes.

The State Government should support smallholder women farmers with Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture at the household level.

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