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April 17, 2024

Women Farmers Suffer Huge Annual Post-harvest Losses in Kogi – SWOFON 

The state coordinator of Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) in Kogi, Rukayat Larai Ahmed, disclosed that the state suffers from huge annual post-harvest losses with a share of N94.5 billion out of the national estimated losses of N3.5 trillion annually.

The state coordinator made this known at a press conference held in Lokoja, titled “Kogi State 2024 Approved Agriculture Budget,” organised by  SWOFON and Kogi State Budget Committee Group (BCG) in collaboration with support from ActionAid Nigeria. 

On behalf of SWOFON on the date, the coordinator however commended the Kogi state government for providing for post-harvest losses reduction intervention in the 2024 budget. 

Meanwhile, during the conference, both parties called for a review of existing policies and frameworks on agriculture to boost food production in the state.

Specifically, the  Chairman of BCG, Matthias Okpanachi, while addressing newsmen, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security needed to review the existing policies to enhance the performance of the sector.

He said the call was informed by the persistent failure of policies to address critical issues in the Agriculture budget formulation and implementation, issues with inputs, post-harvest losses, credit to smallholder farmers and extension services.

He called for increased funding to the Agriculture sector, saying there is a need to meet the 10 per cent minimum budgetary allocation in line with the July 2003 Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security.

“The increase should also be channelled to capital expenditure and increase in overheads that facilitate the realization of the sector’s objectives. The capital expenditure should be more of developmental capital as against administrative capital expenditure”, he said.

The BCG Chairman reiterated the need for improved Agriculture sector’s per capita investment saying that based on a 2.3 per cent growth rate of the 2006 population census, the Kogi population in 2024 is projected to be 4,666,200.

“With an estimated allocation of N8.69 billion to the agriculture sector, the per capita investment will amount to N1,862.63. This is a 13 per cent drop in per capita spending in the agriculture sector over the 2023 figures.

“Again, it points to poor appreciation of the importance of the sector in the State development and poverty reduction. This spending is still grossly inadequate considering the current economic challenges, trends and depreciation in the value of the Naira”, he pointed out.

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