We tip bandits to access our farms, FCT women farmers cry out  

Women farmers on the aegis of Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have attributed insecurity to the hike of food prices in the market.

The group stated that members had to tip bandits before they have access to their farmlands. 

For many months, Nigerians have been under torment by the astronomical rise in the prices of basic food and services in the marketplace.

Coordinator of SWOFON in Gwagwalada area council, Mrs Olabisi Ogedengbe, in an interview in Abuja, stated that sometimes men in the community liaise with bandits and tip them money before the farmers could have access to their farmlands. 

“Aside from the money, sometimes, we cook for them and give them some of our crops after farming so that they wouldn’t harm us. Some of the bandits even go as far as looking after our farmlands,” she said.

She added that Nigerians may experience more scarcity of food and hike in prices of food in 2025 if the government does not attend to the security issues across the country . 

“We are still buying one Mudu of beans for N3, 000, it may be N5, 000 by next year if care is not taken,” she said. 

She identified Kuje, Gaube, Abaji Gwagwalada as areas prone to insecurity for some of their members, adding that these bandits have killed  many farmers in these areas. 

She complained that the livelihood of most smallholder women farmers is deteriorating and had reached a point where they now struggle to provide food, access to healthcare, infrastructure, and pay for children’s education.

“FCT women farmers are faced with significant barriers to land ownership and control; at the same time, some of the farmlands are taken over by government for commercial purposes, which limits our ability to invest in and benefit from agricultural activities.

“There is a significant disparity in the access to and release of quality seeds, fertilizers, water pumps, solar borehole, Nafsak sprayers and other inputs between male and female farmers.

“The rising costs of feeds and medication, and other agricultural inputs for livestock are severely affecting  smallholder women farmers, threatening our ability to sustain our livestock farming operations as we are not able to afford these essentials for our farming activities.”