By Felicia Imohimi
The Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria(SWOFON), a coalition of women farmers associations, has called on government at all levels to mechanise farming in order to enhance agricultural production in the country.
SWOFON’s spokesperson, Mrs Felicia Ukwu, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the commemoration of the World Food Day with the theme, “Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind.’’
Ukwu, who frowned at the manual farming system in the country, added that one of the surest ways to ensure food security and affordability was to adopt mechanisation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that World Food Day is observed annually on Oct. 16.
It is aimed at shedding light on the millions of people globally who lack the means to afford a nutritious diet and the crucial necessity of consistent access to wholesome food.
Ukwu identified herder-farmer conflicts as a major security challenge affecting the farmers across the country, adding that addressing the challenge was key to ensure food and nutrition security.
She blamed poor food production as well as hike in cost of food nationwide on security challenges.
The spokesperson, however, called on the government to prioritise the security of farmers in order to ensure food security.
“l wish government can take care of security, protect farmers, provide us with the needed implements for mechanisation not manual, so that we can provide enough food to feed the nation.
“At the moment women farmers are facing a lot of challenges going to the farms, so this need urgent attention so that we can have enough food in circulation ,’’ she said.
She commended Oxfam for attending to the yearnings and aspirations of farmers through the provision of fertilisers and irrigation machines.
Speaking on the theme, Eucheria Okechukwu, SWOFON member, said water was essential to health.
She urged farmers, government among others to minimise the application of chemical on the soils in order to ensure healthy water for the masses.
She also urged farmers to desist from application of chemical on farms and adopt organic farming for healthy water and healthy living.
Okechukwu, commended Oxfam for training SWOFON members on organic farming and urged governments and others to follow suit to ensure healthy food in circulation
“The water that we are taking is supposed to be life and food unfortunately is no longer safe but poison to us.
“We apply herbicide, insecticide and liquid fertiliser among others on our soil and when rain falls, it pushes it back to our stream and rivers.
“When the water gets back to our streams it turns back and we consume thereby making the water unsafe and unhealthy, ’’she said. (NAN)