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Smallholder Women Farmers Seriously Challenged-ActionAid



 A new report by ActionAid Nigeria has revealed many challenges of women farmers in Nigeria.

The report, Assessment of Government Expenditure on Agriculture /Community Score Cards on Smallholder Women Farmers Access to Extension Services, showed that apart from their poor access to agricultural extension services, the small-scale women farmers face several other challenges.  The assessment was sponsored by ActionAid Nigeria which has carried out various intervention initiatives in the agriculture sector over the years.   

The report says the women’s most serious agricultural challenges include: lack of or very limited access to production-enhancing inputs, especially improved seeds/seedlings, fertilizers, tractors for land preparation, poor storage, processing facilities and credit.   

In arriving at some of the results, ActionAid applied Community Participatory Score Card tools for the study which was conducted between September 2017 and January 2018 to determine small-scale women farmers’ access to public agricultural extension and advisory services in seven selected states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Two community participatory score card tools were developed and approved by ActionAid Nigeria for the study. One was for the public agricultural extension and advisory service providers, the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) of the states’ Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, based on the standard agricultural extension service performance indicators (staffing, funding, and extension delivery activities).

The other score card tool was for the beneficiaries (clientele) of the extension and advisory services, like the small-scale women farmers belonging to various associations and groups under the umbrella of Small-scale Women Farmers Organizations of Nigeria (SWOFON) as selected by ActionAid and its partners in the participating states for them to evaluate their access to public extension services in their states.

The ADPs extension services was scored based on the staffing situation, especially at the critical extension agent/farmers interface (Village Extension Agent (VEA), Block Extension Agent (BEA) and Block Extension Supervisors (BES)); funding and key extension delivery activities. The score card tool for the small-scale women farmers was based on key extension delivery variables, including technical facilitation and backstopping and extension delivery methods and approach.