‘FCT allots N1.3b for grazing reserve without implementation’
The Small Scale Women Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON) has queried the Federal Capital Territory Administration over the continued budgetary allocation for grazing development without any known completion date or level of implementation.
Specifically, they raised concern that between 2017-2019, a total sum of N1.325 billion was appropriated for the development of grazing reserve in the FCT, while a total sum of N847 million was allocated within the same period for the payment of compensation for grazing reserve.
The Agriculture Budget Committee SWOFON, in its analysis of the 2019 budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector, bemoaned the 2.25 per cent budgetary allocation to sector, saying it was abysmal below the commitment to the Maputo Declaration by African Heads of states.
The group expressed concern that if the current poor public investment in agriculture in the FCT is not reversed, it would affect the national agenda of an agriculture-led developmental approach to the fundamental challenges of poverty, hunger and rising unemployment in the country.
The National Coordinator of SWOFON, Boyowa Roberts, told reporters in Abuja recently that it was high time the FCT Administration had highlighted specific budget line items allocated to the “Women in agriculture” for proper understanding and effective monitoring of projects implementation.
She condemned the budgetary allocation for agriculture extension services by the FCT, stressing the need to increase budgetary allocation for extension services or agents within the area councils so as to support on-farm practices and value chain development of commodities.
The smallholder women farmers also called for allocation to capital expenditure items that address the needs of smallholder women farmers in order to effectively influence development in the agriculture sector in the interest of the farming communities.
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