Fuel scarcity : Women smallholder farmers lament hike in farm inputs in Bauchi

Coalition of Civil Society Organizations under the Public Finance in Agriculture (PFA) Budget Committee in Bauchi state has lamented the high cost of Agricultural inputs because fuel scarcity is affecting women smallholder farmers in the country.

Hajiya Asma’u Yahaya, Executive Director Women with Disability Integrity Development Initiative (WDIDI) made the lamentation while Briefing journalists on behalf of the committee on Tuesday in Bauchi.

The briefing was the State PFA Budget committee and Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWODYI) in collaboration with smallholder Women Farmers Network and Small Scale Women Farmers Organization of Nigeria(SWOFON) with support from Actionaid Nigeria,

She said that the committee also deemed it fit to comment on the budgetary allocation to agriculture which is primarily rain-fed.

“With the advent of the current economic crisis in the country, the smallholder Women Farmers who are known for the production of over 60 percent food consumed in the state are facing a series of hard times caused by the partial fuel scarcity.

“The development that has led to the high cost of market prices of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, simple labor saving technologies, and seedlings, is becoming unaffordable for farmers, especially women.

“Before the emergence of fuel scarcity, smallholder women farmers were already faced with low and difficult access to credit, essential inputs, improved seeds and seedlings, organic and non-organic fertilizers,” she said.

Hajiya Yahaya also the continuous scarcity will further compound the situation as they now fear the possibility of poor access,

“Looking at the period of May to August which is a planting season for all farmers.It is pertinent to say that food crisis will continue looming in the state and country at large” She Said.

According to her, to avert the looming food crisis in the state, the committee recommended that the Bauchi government should honor the Maputo Declaration by allocating not less than 10 percent of its state total budget to agriculture in the light of diversifying the economy and wealth creation for the state.

She said the committee also recommend that the ministry of agriculture should ensure that the right beneficiaries are targeted and funds are utilized properly to get results

The ED also said Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme (BSADP) a direct budgetary allocation should also be made specifically for women in agriculture.

The committee also said a specific budget line should be allocated for the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture by the Ministry,

She added that since smallholder women farmers have access to less than 23 percent access to formal credit, the bauchi state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources should create a yearly strengthening Access to budget lines amongst other recommendations.

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