From Omale Adama, Lokoja
Participants at a Small-Holder Women Farmers Town Hall meeting on Saturday rose with a call on the Federal and State Governments to establish special micro-finance banks for the women farmers to boost their micro credits accessibility. The one-day town hall meeting attracted participants from the
Federal and Kogi State Ministries of Agriculture, Women Affairs, Women In Agriculture (WIA), Small-Holder Women Farmers Association, NGOs and the Civil Society.
They called on governments at all levels to encourage other micro-finance institutions to associations to assist women farmers in view of their meager resources and small-scale status of their farms.
They asserted that as a result of administrative bottlenecks, “government credit or monetary assistance always come when the farmers are out of cropping season thereby defeating the purpose of cropping. “Farming is season-based and once you cannot access credit facilities at the right time, the objective for applying for it is defeated”, they said. The stakeholders also discussed a myriad of issues affecting women farmers in the country and Kogi in Particular and called for increase
in number of redemption centres for the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) in the state.
They also called for realistic subsidy on seeds and fertilizer as well as enhancement of land redemption and ownership by women. Executive Director of Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID) organizers of the meeting, Mr Victor Adejoh in his opening remarks said the meeting aimed to close the communication gap between government and women farmers.
He urged government and individuals to change their attitude towards farming saying: “If we do not want hunger to siege our land, we must change our attitude and begin to see farming from a brighter perspective. Adejoh commended Governor Idris Wada’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda for the state and urged that the efforts be translated into food on the table saying, “There is no better way to face death than facing hunger and family insecurity.”