Godwin AJOM, Calabar
A United Nation’s organization, known as United Nation’s Women in Nigeria, has identified lack of finance, infrastructure and land ownership as major problems affecting the activities of rural farmers in Nigeria.
This was stated by the deputy country representative for United Nation’s Women in Nigeria, Lansana Wonneh in an exclusive interview with TNN.
According to her, “women, particularly in Nigeria do the bulk of the work around food production, processing and marketing of food commodities. And while they do that job, they face a lot of challenges, around the fact that they are not included in the process of decision making, no participation in governance, they don’t get resources from government, or the private sector. So, they have issues of lack of infrastructure, lack of financial support and access to land and land ownership.
“We want to make sure they realize their rights, given adequate resources, and that they are able to produce more, get more income and take better care of their families.
“We are here to work with the government and the people of Nigeria to transform the situation of the UN women and in this case, the rural women.”
Also speaking, a professor from the University of Calabar, Prof. Caroline Aboh, suggested possible solutions to issues raised as concerning rural farmers.
Aboh said, “the role of women in transforming agriculture is enormous. Women should be encouraged to expand their farms, and should be given access to lucrative markets. They should be more educated because women are the engine of the growth of every society.”
Meanwhile, the Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture, represented by Mr. Nathaniel Nkor from the ministry, charged the rural farmers to, “Consider the production of not just food but good food. Down-play the use of chemical but use more of organic fertilizers.”
He added that women are champions in the cultivation and production of Cassava.
When contacted, the chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria who also doubles as the chairman, Grassroot Arable and Livestock Farmers of Nigeria, in the state, Pastor Nathaniel Omalekor, stated his associations stand on the problems of rural farmers.
“We are happy and acknowledge the sense of belonging that the United Nations are giving to Nigeria Grassroot farmers. The rural women farmers are not given attention and amenities like rural roads. No adult education for them in the rural communities. Floods is here and there, to give attention to the crops wasted by the floods mostly to the women is 0.00 per cent, no attention, government is not interested about it.
“The development in town should be carried to the villagers too. The rural woman is still using the Hoe and the Matchets, there are not tractors in Cross River state ploughing the land. we are vaccinating Digs in the towns, what about those in the villages?
“There is a lot of destruction, but no compensation given to the rural women. No attention given to them. Has there been any time government has been concerned with giving empowerment to women? Especially the disabled rural women. Government need to link up with them properly.”