WOMEN farmers in Kwara state have said that their access to available agricultural resources in the state is less than 20 per cent annually.
The figure was contained in a community participatory assessment of government expenditure on agriculture/community score cards on smallholder women farmers’ access to extension services.
Presenting the assessment at a workshop organized by the actionaid in collaboration with the Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE) in Ilorin at the weekend, the programme coordinator, Mr Abdulrahman Ayuba, said that smallholder farmers dominate agriculture sector and produce 90 per cent of the output.
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Ayuba, however, said that the farmers have difficulties accessing agricultural extension services.
He also said that the assessment had showed that women farmers make up 60 per cent of agricultural food processing activities, 50 per cent in animal husbandry related activities and 70 per cent in agricultural labour.
The report, therefore, recommended establishment of a special extension outreach programme for women and youth and other marginalized groups.
It also said that it is imperative to urgently recruit qualified extension agents, especially at the critical agent/farmer interface with special focus on female extension agents.
“Extension staff service conditions require review to make the service attractive especially now that youths are being encouraged to go into agriculture. The dichotomy between the livestock salary scale and others in the agricultural sector must be addressed.
“The enactment of an agricultural extension policy to guide and regulate the practice of agricultural extension and advisory services in Nigeria, for assured and sustainable funding mechanism and quality control”, the report stated.