ActionAid urges lawmakers, govts to commit 10% annual budget to agriculture

ActionAid Nigeria has stated that for Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments, going forward, the National Assembly should impress it upon the three tiers of government to commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector which is required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

Addressing the lawmakers on Friday in Abuja, the Country Director, Ene Obi, said investment in the sector should focus on strategic areas of Extension Services, Access to Credit, Women in Agriculture, Youth in Agriculture, Appropriate Labour-Saving Technologies, Inputs, Post-Harvest Losses Reduction Supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access, etc.), Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and

Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination.

According to her, the data her organisation collected through the VABKIT that reflected the lived realities of smallholder women farmers across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shows that nationwide, smallholder women farmers currently have only 18% access to processing facilities, 16.60% access to storage facilities, 13.50% access to off-takers/access to markets, 9.60% access to transportation for agricultural produce, and 42.30% access to trainings.

“On Extension Services, smallholder women farmers have access to only 5.26% farm demonstrations and 19.47% farmers field schools. On agricultural credit, they have access to less than 23% of existing credit facilities, and only 4.77% access to agricultural insurance. On access to and control over land, about 59% of them have access to land, 29.77% have control, while only 11.23% are engaged in land governance discussions.