Following the impact of flooding in some parts of the country, farmers under the umbrella of Smallholder Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) have advised the federal government to take deliberate steps in key areas to ameliorate the effect on farmers.
The national president of SWOFON, Mary Afan who gave the hint yesterday in Abuja at an event organised by International Budget Partnership warned that failure of relevant agencies to improve security and financial aid for farmers will amount to a high cost of food for Nigerians, increased hunger and worsened food security status for the country.
“The implication of this massive flooding is that the prices of food will be too high owing to its unavailability. This will deal a great blow to the over 90 million Nigerians currently living below the poverty line and the over 21 million Nigerians currently experiencing acute hunger.
“At the moment, Smallholder Women Farmers have lost everything. There are no seeds to plant during the next farming season. While some farmers are gradually returning to their homes as the water recedes to pick up whatever is left of the destruction, others cannot go back home or to their farms. Some have lost the courage to start all over and others have totally lost hope,” she said.
Noting that women farmers have lost all they planted, Afan lamented that there was no seed for farmers to plant during the next farming season. She called on the government at all levels to give a waiver on all agricultural loans and debts owed during the wet season farming.