Food crisis: Consortium Urges Bauchi Govt To Target Right Beneficiaries For Farm Inputs, Funds

The Bauchi State Public Finance of Agriculture (PFA) budget committee, a consortium of various civil society organizations, has urged the state government to target the right beneficiaries for farm inputs and funds to avert the looming food crisis in the state.

Mrs Tabawa Atiku, Chairperson of the Committee made the call in a news conference on findings of the Bauchi State 2024 approved agricultural budget analysis on Tuesday in Bauchi.

She noted that the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HPLE) of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) has recommended that all governments must continue to support smallholder farmers and local communities.

“Through appropriate stimulus packages (in cash or kind) to enhance food resilience and improve allocation to agriculture for food security,” Atiku said

Atiku urged the state government to ensure that the right beneficiaries are targeted, and funds are utilized properly to get results.

“Budgetary allocation should also be made specifically for smallholder women farmers to support their agricultural activities.

“There is an urgent need to allocate budget lines for extension services and ensure total cash releases and expenditure so as to achieve access to farm demonstrations for smallholder women farmers.

“Extension services of the government should also be strengthened by recruiting new extension agents, building their capacity, and providing them with incentives and facilities necessary for their effectiveness.

She added that to meet the one extension worker to 3000 ratio in the field. The extension sub-sector should be revived and properly funded on a budget line for growth and improvement of productivity.

“Also, there is a need for ADP to link SWOFON with retired extension workers at the various LGAs,” She stressed.

She also said monitoring and evaluation should be seen as a priority because it would strengthen oversight functions of the MDAs at all levels.

“The monitoring and evaluation department needs to be properly funded on a budget line for growth and improvement of productivity and implementation.

“There is need for the Ministry to collaborate with N-SIP, CSOs and Smallholder farmers to ensure their involvement and participation in budget preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes,” She said

The Chairperson charged the State House of Assembly House Committee on Agriculture and Appropriation to enhance its oversight functions and mandate over the management of public funds in the sector to guarantee greater value for money.

She reiterated that smallholder farmers especially women should be supported with simple-Labor-Saving Technologies/machineries such as Ox-Plough, Rice planter and harvester, power tiller etc by the state government and donors through MDAs and NGOs.

She however urged the state government to increase the budget allocation for input support to farmers and also to make room for organic fertilizer at subsidized rate for smallholder women farmers to access.

The Consortium of the Civil Society organizations of the Bauchi State PFA Budget Committee, comprises of Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI),Rahama Women and Development Programme (RAHAMA),Women Empowerment Initiative Nigeria (WEIN)

They include Bauchi State Network of Civil Society (BASNEC), Smallholder Women Farmers Networks (SWOFAN),Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON),Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN),WODASS

Others are Leadtots Development Initiative,Muslim Aid Initiative in Nigeria (MAIN),Bauchi State Activista,Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) and Media.

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