Women farmers in Ondo state have not benefited from farm inputs distributed to farmers by the state government in the last four years, a data has shown.

According to the data by the Justice Development and Peace Center, JDPC, in the 18 local government of Ondo state, 83 percent of smallholder women farmers have not received agricultural inputs from the government through their various cooperatives in the past four years while 17 percent indicated that they received inputs twice in 2019 and 2021 within the last four years under review.

Giving the breakdown of their assessment, the State coordinator, Active Citizen on Agriculture, Olamide Omoduni, said “their primary data showed that 83 percent of smallholder women farmers indicated that their various cooperatives have not received agricultural inputs from the government in the past four years in the state.

Omoduni said the lack of annual distribution of inputs and training for smallholder women farmers from agro-women also added to low yields across the state.

Speaking at the Data analysis presentation and dissemination of a community scorecard on the agro-women initiative of Ondo State, organised by the Justice Development and Peace Centre (JDPC), in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria, the coordinator of the Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Grace Oyediji, said that “SWOFON is there to help the state government, and we are not going to fail you. The Ondo State ministry of finance needs to release the money to agro-women initiative for food security.”

“We need to go into mechanised farming in Ondo state; we are doing this assessment not to hurt the state government but to let the government have a success story regarding farming.

“We want to move from a smallholder farmer to higher holder farmers and we want to appeal to all our women farmers out there to beat down the prices of food in Ondo State.

“The government needs to put more effort in providing adequate security for our farmers across the 18 local government areas of the state.”

Also speaking, the JDPC programme officer, Catholic Diocese, Akure, Austin Ogunleye, said; “The government should ensure smallholder women farmers should be part of the design of agro-women initiative so that they can decide the kind of input and training that will improve their productivity.

“Distribution of farm inputs should be done directly to the stakeholders at the grassroots rather than state level so that it can get to the targeted beneficiaries

The state commissioner for Agriculture, Olayato Aribo, said the government acknowledged the effort of the farmers in the state towards ensuring the availability of farm products.

Aribo, who was represented by the administrative secretary, Ondo State Agric Inputs Supply Agency, Adeola Akinyugba, therefore, said” government has approved an additional N22 million to discharge our services to farmers.

He pointed out that “the season of no inputs to farmers has been put to an end in Ondo.

The Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on gender, Olamide Falana, said the government has consistently given support to the agro-women initiative in the state.

Falana, however, said there was need for more engagement of he agro-women farmers with the state government in order to ensure food security.

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