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May 27, 2024

Kwara: CSOs Advocate Increased Agricultural Budget to Benefit More Women Farmers 

The Consortium of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Kwara State is advocating for a boost in the agricultural budget, particularly for the benefit of women farmers. 

Led by Abdurrahman Ayuba, CEO of the Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE), the group voiced their concerns during a press briefing in Ilorin, the state capital.

The analysis of the 2024 Kwara State agriculture budget revealed a decrease compared to the previous year, prompting the CSOs to call for action. 

They noted a drop in the percentage of the agriculture budget relative to the total state budget, emphasizing the need to meet the 10% Maputo/Malabo Declaration and Commitment.

However, they highlighted in their recommendations the necessity for increased budgetary provisions for Smallholder Farmers, focusing on handheld devices such as mini tractors, weeders, and planters. The CSOs urge collaboration with stakeholders like the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) to ensure the production of farmer-friendly equipment.

Ayuba emphasized the importance of training women farmers in modern techniques to improve productivity. The group also called for programs aimed at youth empowerment through agriculture, with realistic budget allocations.

Furthermore, the CSOs stressed the importance of including farmers with disabilities in budget planning and prioritizing irrigation to enhance agricultural output.

The CSOs commended the state government for allocating funds to youth in agriculture through the Integrated Youth Farm Settlement and urged its continuation. They also highlighted the need for efforts in post-harvest loss reduction, including increased market access, processing facilities, and infrastructure upgrades.

The call by the CSOs underscores the importance of prioritizing agricultural development in Kwara State, especially in empowering smallholder farmers and women in the sector.

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