It said the COVID-19 period has created a better opportunity for the government to re-access its level of preparedness in the sector.
The organisation called on the government to create women centred specific intervention programs that can enhance the productivity of women since they are the major farmers in the country.
Country Director of Oxfam Nigeria, Constant Tchona said this at the World Food Day in Abuja.
The Country Director, who was represented by Olumide Ojo said: “We want to join our voices together as development partners to demand that government scales up its investment in agriculture, it is very important. We have had many treaties and commitment, the Malabo, Maputo declaration to the Abuja declaration that stipulates a minimum of 10 per cent budgetary allocation, if you can do this, it is to the benefit of the whole nation and not just for government.
“We recognise that the majority of the farmers in Nigeria are smallholders and predominantly women. From our works all over the country, we realise that a lot of challenges are hindering their full and optimal performance in the sector, so we will be glad to see some women centred specific intervention programs that can enhance the productivity of these population in agriculture.
“Lastly, I want to call on the Senate that we have the right to food bill that we have been pushing as Oxfam since 2010/2011.’’
We believe that access to food should be a right of every Nigerian and I think that it is now time, I think that COVID-19 actually brought us a better opportunity to re-access our preparedness. I think that the bill has scaled the first and second reading but we don’t know the situation of the bill for now.
“I want to pledge on behalf of my country director, the commitment of Oxfam international in Nigeria to provide technical support and otherwise to the Ministry of Agriculture, to rural women farmers in Nigeria and the generality of Nigerians.”
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Muhammad Nanono who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu said, “Much has been achieved in the agricultural sector, first is in cassava and yam production with 59.4m tons and 7.9m tons, we also ranks 14 in maize production with 10.43 metric tons and 4th in palm oil with 7.7m metric tons in the same year. In 2019, Nigeria became the largest producers of rice in Africa, with a production level of 9m metric tons. These are indeed a true testimony of our commitment to boosting agriculture and providing nutritious food.”