Akure — Female farmers in Ondo State, through the Small Scale Women Farmers' Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), have alleged the government at all levels of marginalisation in the agricultural businesses.
The women, from the 18 local government areas of the state, said this in Akure at the weekend during the SWOFON annual forum organised by Justice, Development and Peace Centre (JDPC) and ActionAid Nigeria.
The state president of SWOFON, Mrs Bukola Oyediji, said there were no access roads to most farms and there were no other infrastructural provisions like water and irrigation facilities as obtainable in the northern part of the country.
According to her, "SWOFON is not involved in policy making decisions at the local government, state and federal levels. Our absence causes accounts for the failure to realize the Maputo convention declaration."
Adesegha added that despite challenges facing the small-scale women farmers on food production, their contribution had been significant, as they supplied "up to 50 per cent of the country's vegetables and fruits."
Meanwhile, the Provost of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), Dr Samson Odedina, has challenged Nigerian youths to adequately utilise the opportunities in agriculture.
Odedina said this while receiving an award from the Liberal Platform (LP) at Imeri, Ose Local Government Area of the state, at the weekend.
There are myriads of opportunities available in agriculture but most of them are still untapped and underutilised to solve employment challenges and create wealth among the youths.
"From my own experience and observation, awareness has been created and the youths are taking up the opportunities, but the gap is that we don't have enough youths taking up these opportunities," he said.