On the 5th October, 2021, the Kaduna state Small-scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), an Advocacy Platform with structure across the 36 States and FCT, and active membership in 23 Local Governments of the State, organized an advocacy event with the objectives to: step down of simplified National Gender Policy on Agriculture; advocacy on handing the Hoe to the Museum; distribution of Agricultural Equipment; and showcasing of Agricultural products from Women Farmers and Processors.
The event had in attendance members of Kaduna state SWOFON from across the 23 local governments, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, Kaduna state Ministry of Agriculture, Kaduna Agriculture Development Agency, Kaduna state Ministry of Human Services & Social Development, National Museum, Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment & Development (CALPED) and Media.
The invited guest made remarks and comments calling for more support for women in agriculture. This followed by the dramatization of Hoe to Museum advocacy by SWOFON, handing over crude farming equipment women are using to the representative of the National Museum. There was a tour with the guest showcasing to them processed and branded farm products produced by SWOFON members. The representative of CALPED delivered a presentation on Advocating for Gender Sensitive Budgeting in the Kaduna Agriculture Sector. In conclusion, there was the distribution of Agricultural Equipment to SWOFON members from the various local governments in attendance.
During the event, a number of observations were raised and resolutions reached.
- The Kaduna state SWOFON commended the Federal government for developing and approving the National Gender Policy on Agriculture; and ActionAid Nigeria for simplifying the policy using infographics.
- Women farmers who supply over 60% of farm labor continue to suffer from challenges of access to finance, land, inputs, extension services, markets among others.
- Despite the framework provided and strong recommendations made in the National Gender Policy on Agriculture, mainstreaming women in the politics, planning, programming, budgeting and service delivery is still challenged with many of the barriers still in place.
- The crude nature of agriculture equipment continue to make farming difficult and tiring for many of the aging women farmers, which is draining their energy and affecting their health.
- SWOFON members through drama illustrated the difficulty they face in using hoes and other crude equipment and handed them over to the National Museum where those crude equipment belong. They call on the government to support women with improved women user-friendly equipment.
- The advocacy by SWOFON at the National level has yielded positive result as the Federal Government has supported them with agricultural equipment and materials.
- The agricultural equipment and materials, even though not enough to reach all the SWOFON members, is a commendable step in supporting women farmers in Kaduna state.
- Under the Kaduna Agriculture Development Agency (KADA), there is a Unit called Women in Agriculture established to enable increase in women participation in agricultural activities.
- The Unit over the years has not gotten the adequate funding and staffing to enable it achieve its mandate.
- Over the years, there has been no women specific budget line item, thereby leading to the exclusion of many women farmers especially at the rural areas in the various existing programmes and interventions.
- SWOFON Commended the Kaduna state government through the Ministry of Agriculture for developing and approving the Kaduna State Policy on Agriculture.
The participants resolved to:
- Call on the Kaduna state government to follow the footstep of the Federal Government by providing women farmers’ tailored support and interventions as captured in the Kaduna State Policy on Agriculture.
- Call on the Kaduna state government to introduce a budget line item on women specific agriculture interventions into the State annual budgets.
- Call on the Kaduna state government to adapt and replicate the National Gender Policy on Agriculture to address state-specific gender issues in the agricultural sector.
- SWOFON will pay an advocacy visit to the Ministry of Agriculture, Planning & Budget Commission, Speaker Kaduna State House of Assembly and the Executive Governor to solicit for gender sensitive and responsive budgeting in the agriculture sector in the State.
- CALPED will support SWOFON to facilitate the Kaduna state 2022 agricultural sector budget analysis and advocacy.