By: Muhammad Babayo Asha.
About thirteen women associations under the aegis of Public Financing in Agriculture PFA want Bauchi state government to honour the Maputo declaration by allocating 10% of its annual budget to agriculture for economic diversification and wealth creation.
The PFA Budget Committee, Women Farmers groups and associations as well as CSOs with support from ActionAid Nigeria were reacting on the state’s 2022 approved budget of five point three four percent.
Briefing newsmen in Bauchi on the PFA Budget Committee findings, the Executive Director Women with Disability Integrity Development Initiative WDIDI Hajiya Asma’u Yahaya called for direct budgetary allocation for women in agriculture to enhance their capacity and support their activities.
Asma’u Yahaya also advocated specific budget line allocation from the ministry of agriculture for the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture.
“… Bauchi suffers from huge annual post-harvest looses with a share out estimated of #3.5 trillion annually. Smallholder women farmers in Bauchi state have access to only 19.90% processing facilities and 19.45% storage facilities, this is a big gap and need to be filled urgently with massive investment in cottage processing and storage facilities” Asma’u insisted.
While calling for the recruitment of Extension Agents to meet the one extension worker to three thousand ratio, the WDIDI Executive Director urged the state government to recruit and strengthen their capacity as well as provide incentives and facilities for them.
” .. the Ministry should collaborate with the Bauchi State School of Agriculture so that graduating students from the college be utilized to achieve human development capacity at 100%………they serve in various capacities especially in the rural areas to support smallholder farmers in the utilization of new technologies in Agriculture ” she noted.
Adma’u Yahaya stressed the importance of the creation of enabling environment and policy framework for smallholder farmers especially women and youth as well as those living with disability have easy access to credit on single digit interest rate.
She appealed to the state House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture to enhance its oversight functions and mandate over the management of public funds in the sector to guarantee greater value for money.