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Majority of smallholder women farmers in Ebonyi never accessed inputs in last four years – PDA

Ugochi Joseph at the event.

‘On having received farm input from the government within the past 4 years (2019-2022), 81% of smallholder women farmers indicated that their various cooperatives have not received agricultural inputs from the Government in the past four (4) years. While only 19% indicated that they have received.’

By Nweze Anaga, Abakaliki

Inadequate and untimely access to agricultural inputs has been identified as major impediment to the efforts of the Smallholder Women farmers towards achieving food sufficiency in Nigeria.

This was contained in a report, “Community score card on Small holder Women Farmers Access to Agricultural/ Farm inputs in Ebonyi State.”

It was an outcome of a study conducted by a nongovernmental organization, Participatory Development Alternatives (PDA), under the scaling up Public Investment in Agriculture (SUPIA) Project, in partnership with Actionaid – Nigeria.

The report was presented Tuesday by the PDA’s Program Officer for the project, Ugochi Joseph, in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.

According to the report, covering four years period (2019 – 2022), greater percentage of women cooperative societies under the Small holder women farmers organization in Nigeria do not have access to agricultural inputs to enable them scale up their production.

Where available, the inputs were either misplaced against the needs of the farmers or released outside the  seasons of their usefulness, thereby truncating their effectiveness.

Part of the scorecard reads: “On having received farm input from the government within the past 4 years (2019-2022), 81% of smallholder women farmers indicated that their various cooperatives have not received agricultural inputs from the Government in the past four (4) years. While only 19% indicated that they have received.

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“19% of smallholder women farmers affirmed that their various cooperatives accessed the inputs in the months of July and August 2022 while 81% said they never accessed farm inputs at all.

“This means that farm inputs are not distributed on time and yearly to support smallholder women farmers.”

The report recommended among other things, the need for the government to integrate smallholder women in the design of inputs distribution model.

It prescribed that distribution of farm inputs be done directly to the stakeholders at the grass-roots rather than at the state level so that they can get to the targeted beneficiaries.

The report added: “There should be adequate budgetary allocation to farm inputs in the yearly agriculture budget.

“The State Ministry of Agriculture should work in synergy with the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Ebonyi State and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to be able to reach the targeted farmers.

“Smallholder women farmer organizations and CSOs should be continually invited to participate in policy making processes to ensure proper needs of farmers are always captured.”

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