Food Security: Groups Calls for Increased Budgetary Allocation to Agric, Timely Fund Release 

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By Stephen Adeleye.

The Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) in collaboration with Kogi Budget Committee, have called for increased budgetary allocation to agricultural sector to boost food security in the state.

The groups made the call at a press briefing to analyse the 2023 Kogi State budgetary allocation to Agriculture on Thursday in Lokoja.

The groups, which was funded by ActionAid Nigeria, also solicited for timely release of funds to farmers to carry out their agricultural activities at the appropriate farming seasons.

Mr Hamza Aliyu, who made the presentation on behalf of the group, decried the low N9.5bn state budgetary allocation to agricultural sector for 2023 representing 5.3 per cent describing it as ‘grossly inadequate’.

Aliyu, who doubles as the Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (Ingra)), urged the state government to increase the budgetary percentage to agriculture to 10 per cent to meet the Maputo Declaration.

He stressed that agric budget was more of capital than recurrent.

“Funding agriculture properly is more important than any other sector of economy inview of its roles to ensure food security and wealth creation. .

”It is very disturbing that out of the total of N172 billion Kogi budget, agric was allocated only 5.3 per cent becoming one of the least sectors,” Aliyu said.

Aliyu, however commended Kogi Government for increasing budgetary allocation to areas like Women farmers, farm inputs, agric extension services and post harvest losses.

He, however made recommendations which include: review of existing policies and framework on agriculture, increase funding to the sector to meet the 10 per cent Maputo Declaration.

Others are improvement on commercial agriculture, extension services, post harvest losses, release of budgetary allocation to women farmers, and purchase of farm inputs.

He also stressed the need for enhanced legislative oversight, climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture as well as Research and Development.

Aliyu further emphasised the need for enhanced smallholder women farmers organisations and civil society organizations participation in the budget process.

”Smallholder women farmers and Civil Society Organisations need to be involved and participate in the sectors budget preparation, approval, monitoring and evaluation processes.

”The Ministry of Agriculture should create a forum for consultation as part of the budget preparation processes by organising a stakeholders consultative meeting on the budget before budget call for circulars,” Aliyu said.

He, therefore appealed to the government to improve funding for agriculture sector and timely release of the fund which according to him, remained the major issue. 

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