Kwara pledges support to women farmers

The Kwara Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources says provision has been made in the reviewed 2019 budget to provide farm inputs for women farmers’ associations working with it.

Mallam Mohammed Katsina, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, stated this when the Budget Committee of the Public Financing of Agriculture (PFA) Project and Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) visited him on an advocacy visit.

PFA is a project technically and financially supported by the Actionaid Nigeria to engage government in the area of budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector.

Katsina was represented by Mallam Mohammed Ahmed, the Director of Agriculture and Engineering Services in the ministry.

“First, I want to appreciate the zeal with which you have come here to share your views and aspirations with the ministry.

“The present administration in the state is fully aware that agriculture is the backbone of all other activities.

“The government views that the 2019 budget should be revisited and it was reviewed some weeks ago; the budget process is in compilation stage now.

“I want to inform you and assure you that all associations supported by Actionaid are taken care of in the budget.

“We received a letter from the SWOFON some days before the review and it formed part of what we considered at the exercise.

“We have been directed to raise a memo immediately the reviewed budget is assented to by the governor.

“All the associations in synergy with the ministry would have agricultural input as soon as it is approved, ” he said.

Katsina assured that the project and the women associations would always be considered in the ministry’s programmes considering their roles in the agriculture sector in the state.

Earlier, in the letter presented to the ministry by Mr Abdulrahman Ayuba, the Coordinator of the PFA project, the groups had said that the visit was necessary to ensure that support was given to farmers, particularly vulnerable rural women farmers, through government initiatives.

Ayuba noted that the budget committee had been working to promote sustainable agriculture and food security in Kwara and Nigeria in the last eight years under the PFA project.

He explained that the committee, alongside other non-governmental organisations and the women farmers group had been working and engaging the government in the area of budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector, budget analysis and tracking, parliamentary briefing and consultation on annual budget preparation process.

This, Ayuba said, was aimed at boosting the agriculture sector through access to farm inputs and finance, quality extension services and infrastructural facilities.

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