World Food Day: Women farmers beg Gombe govt over post-harvest losses

Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria, Gombe State Chapter, on Wednesday, urged the state government to mitigate post-harvest losses through massive investments.

According to Airudia Mamman, state Chairperson, Gombe state government should invest in processing and harvesting facilities, as well as mitigate perennial farmers-herders clashes which have increased losses.

Mamman made this disclosure during the commemoration of 2023 World Food Day with the theme: ‘Water is life, water is food, leave no one behind’, organised in collaboration with Hope Foundation for the Lonely and ActionAid Nigeria.

She said, “Massive investments should focus on tackling post-harvest losses (through processing facilities, storage facilities, training, market access, etc.), climate change, insecurity, and farmers-herders clash in Gombe state.

“Commit to making existing policies operational, including committing adequate resources for implementation and putting mechanisms in place for a transparent process.”

While lauding the government for increasing budgetary allocation to smallholder women farmers to N70m, Mamman urged the government to “hasten the release of funds allocated to Small-scale Women in the state’s annual budget to SWOFON to enable us to implement our work-plan and activities we are submitting to the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry,” she added.

On his part, Commissioner for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Dr Barnabas Malle, who was officially decorated as lifetime patron of SWOFON by Chief Executive Officer of HFL Sarah Yapwa, promised to amplify the demands of women farmers.

Malle noted that women and youths remain key partners of Muhammadu Yahaya’s administration adding that, “the increase of budgetary allocation from N40m in 2022 to N70m in 2023 was not a coincidence but a deliberate action to ensure SWOFON carries out its mandate conveniently and successfully.”

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