Small-scale traders have called on Bauchi State Government to address the security challenges particularly the safety of farms in the state.
They also called for funding of agricultural mechanisation to boost food production and create more jobs.
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The farmers lamented the procurement of heavy and expensive agricultural machines, which are not always appropriate to the needs of the users and unsuitable for the topography and size of land cultivated by smallholder farmers especially women.
“These technologies are also hard to maintain and are usually dumped when faults develop, leading to wastage.”
The farmers reached the conclusion at a consultative meeting on the 2022 Agriculture budget organised in Bauchi.
According to the participants, smallholder women farmers contribute over 70 per cent of agricultural production but have been continually given the back seat in the discussion, planning, and implementation of the agricultural budget.
“Access to credit and financial services (from government and non-governmental channels) by smallholder farmers particularly women, is very low in Bauchi State. The criteria to access formal financial credits schemes and programmes can neither be understood nor met by over 70 per cent of smallholder women farmers.”
They recommended that the state government should commit 10 per cent of its annual budget to the agriculture sector.