Members of the Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) have cried out to government to find lasting solution to the continuous herdsmen criminalities in Enugu State.
The state coordinator of SWOFON, Mrs. Lovelyn Ejim, said activities of herdsmen were hindering the productivity of smallholder women farmers in the state, as they not only destroy their farmlands, but also [email protected] their members in the farms.
She stated this at Udenu council area of the state during the SWOFON and Duty Bearers Interface Meeting in the Assessment of Value Chain Development Programme.
She said: “While there are many challenges affecting smallholder women farmers in the state, security is at the top. Herdsmen are roaming our farms freely, destroying our yields and raping our women, who are often alone in the fields. Government must intensify efforts in solving the security challenges in many parts of Enugu State and ensure farmers and their produce are protected at all times.”
She said as part of effort to improve productivity of small scale women farmers, they have been able to access several government interventions, including the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, Fadama III – Additional Financing, Commercial Agricultural Development Programme, Growth Enhancement Scheme and APPEALS-Agro Processing among others, adding that they also ascertained their impact.
Although the women lauded government efforts in the inclusion and innovation in agricultural technology, which they said empowered them with the needed skills and technical know-how in modern farming, they called for improved access to credit, market and private sector partnership in farming.
Steven Ugwu, who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme, assured the women of government’s continued commitment in ensuring inclusive approach to the various intervention programmes in the state.