A Gombe-based NGO, Hope Foundation for the Lonely (HTFL) and Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) have demanded the release of fund allocated for SWOFON in the 2020 state’s budget.
Addressing a news conference in Gombe on Monday, Mrs Airudia Mamman, the State Chairperson of SWOFON, said in the 2020 state’s budget, N35 million was allocated to SWOFON but they were yet to access a dime from the fund.
She said that the rainy season had stabilised and farmers needed all the necessary inputs for a successful cropping season.
The chairperson decried that even before the emergence of COVID-19, SWOFON was faced with difficulty in accessing credit, essential inputs, improved seeds, seedlings organic and non-organic fertilisers.
Mamman said that the spread of COVID-19 further compounded the situation as they now were afraid of the possibility of no access to the funds at all.
She commended Gov. Inuwa Yahaya for boosting agricultural activities in the state through the timely inauguration of the distribution of fertilisers.
“We are commending Gov. Yahaya’s effort for boosting agricultural activities in Gombe.
“We are also appealing for timely disbursement of the N35 million allocated for SWOFON in 2020 state budget.
“The amount allocated for SWOFON if released will go a long way in boosting food production in the state, particularly among women who produced over 60 per cent of the food consumed,” she said.
Mr Mansa Musa, the Executive Director, HTFL said the nation depended on agriculture for daily sustenance, hence the need for government to support SWOFON.
According to him, over 70 to 80 per cent of the state’s population are involved in agriculture both small and large scale, particularly the small scale farmers including the women farmers, who more involved in food production in the state.
Musa expressed appreciation to the government for its good policy frameworks, saying that all would be used toward improvement of agriculture and other component for sustenance.