Bauchi women farmers seek alternative financial support
• As government fails group last farming season
Following the failure of the government to include them in the farming small scale loan which led to a poor harvest in the last farming season, Women farmers in Bauchi state have resolved to seek financial support from sister NGOs and agricultural financial institutions.
This was part of the major decisions reached by the women farmers at the just concluded quarterly review meeting of the Public Finance for Agriculture (PFA) Budget Committee Forum held in Bauchi and supported by ActionAid Nigeria.
While addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting, the Chairperson of the budget committee, Madam Tabawa Atiku regretted that during the last farming season, women groups could not access agricultural inputs and machinery from Bauchi state government despite budgetary allocation made to that respect.
She noted that many group members who invested heavily on their farms with the hope that government would subsequently support them were disappointed as many had to abandon the farms due to lack of funds to complete other farming activities.
Tabawa Atiku opined that because of women’s desire to feed the nation in line with the federal government vision, women farmers in Bauchi state would synergize with other notable CSOs like RAHAMA, Development Exchange Center (DEC) as well as other financial institutions to seek loan in order to fulfil their dream.
She, however, appealed to Governor Bala Mohammed led administration to shift emphasis from purchasing heavy agricultural machinery, but opt for light farming implements such as rice planters, power rollers, hand tillers and harvesters that could be put to use by local farmers with ease.
Tabawa Atiku also implored the state government to key into the N-Power scheme of the federal government so as to benefit from the N-Agro services that would fast-track the deployment of extension workers to the rural areas to help educate rural farmers on modern farming methods.
The one-day meeting of women farmers in Bauchi state also appealed to the Bauchi state government and lawmakers to ensure adequate budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector and back it up with prompt release of funds.