Women farmers lament herders, farmers clash in FCT, demand end to insecurity

Women farmers in the FCT have cried out over the insecurity in the territory, asking the federal government to urgently tackle the challenge to enable them to return to their farms.

The women say security threats to farmers arising from the header-farmers conflict in various communities in the FCT has become unbearable and now requires government intervention..

The women under the aegis of Small scale Women Farmers Organization of Nigeria (SWOFON) made the call on Friday at a one-day State Level Stakeholders Consultative Meeting for the 2022 Agriculture Budget in Abuja.

The Coordinator of the group, Comfort Sunday, lamented that herder-farmer clashes in communities in the FCT were taking a toll on farmers, asking the government to take urgent action to save local women farmers from being harassed and killed in their farms.

Comfort said, “The major reason for our meeting today is to talk about the challenges we face in each area council and to let the government know of these challenges. In the Bwari Area council, a boy is in the hospital due to the challenges of these herdsmen, so we are pleading with the government to help us.

“We are human beings and we can’t survive without food because food is a basic need. Even when you are in the office, you can’t concentrate well without food. In the morning we eat breakfast, in the afternoon we eat lunch and in the evening we eat dinner. While eating, let us endeavour to think about where the food comes from so that we will know how to support those that are producing those farm produce because it is not easy for a human being to enter into the bush, just to put things in order”.

“Most times we do not have money to cultivate but we try our best to survive because the government does not give us loans to support us. After all our struggles, at the end of the day, we do not harvest anything because of herdsmen. We call on the government to help us, this insecurity is affecting us very well.”

The group also harped the need for budgetary allocations to the Agriculture sector to be prioritized.

“The FCT would need to significantly improve allocation to extension service as a measure to bridge the deficit in that area of service to farmers. Increased spending for logistics support and qualified personnel would be required to improve service.

“Allocation to agriculture sector must be given priority attention in the FCT in line with the Maputo declaration to improve food and nutritional security in the FCT as well as increase women farmers livelihood and contribution to agriculture development in line with the Gender mainstream policy of government directing gender inclusiveness in all programme and project of government at all level,” the group added.

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