The Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) and the ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) have warned of looming food crisis and hunger that might worsen the COVID-19 pandemic effects in the country.
They raised the alarm on Sunday at a joint virtual press conference monitored in Abuja by our reporter.
The conference was addressed by the AAN Country Director Mrs. Ene Obi, SWOFON President Mrs. Mary Afan and some stakeholders on “COVID-19 and its Implications on Food and Agriculture, Smallholder Women Farmers and Averting the Looming Food Crisis in Nigeria”.
They said due to the COVID-19 lockdown and lack of access to markets, farmers were experiencing massive post-harvest losses on fruits, vegetables, fresh products, poultry and other perishables, thus forcing them to “be back to square one.”
They said security agencies and task forces enforcing the lockdown at the states, local government and community levels were incessantly harassing and extorting smallholder farmers, especially women.
According to them, it seems the government is unaware of the continual loss of income and livelihoods in the agricultural sector, especially for smallholder women farmers, arising from the continued lockdown and restriction of movement.