From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Stakeholders in agriculture have called for more budgetary allocation to agric sector inorder to boost food security and economic development of the state.
The call was made at the Kogi state Consultative Meeting on the, “Kogi State 2024 Agriculture Budget held in Lokoja, on Tuesday.
The forum was organised by Kogi State Budget Committee Group and Small-scale Farmers Organisation In Nigeria (SWOFON) in collaboration with the Kogi State Ministry of Agriculture with support from ActionAid Nigeria.
The forum also seek for timely release of money meant for the agricultural sector and effective implementation of the budget by the state government.
Stakeholders further sought for citizens participation in budgetary processes.
In his welcome address, Mr. Matthias Okpanachi, Chairperson of the Kogi Budget Committee Group, said that the meeting is aimed at stimulating development in agriculture, presentation of 2023 agric budget analysis to stakeholders for comparism so as to know where we started and where we are going as well as what is expected of government to move agriculture to the next level of development.
The Kogi State Coordinator of Small-scale Farmers Organisation In Nigeria (SWOFON), Hajiya Rukayat Ahmed while speaking during the meeting, called for elaborate participation of women in agriculture
Hajiya Ahmed also called for the release of money meant for women in agricultural budget to enable them make more impacts in carrying out agric activities.
She maintained that women have greater role to play in ensuring food sufficiency and economic growth of the state just like their male counterparts and needed to be encouraged.
Bello Ogrima George, Managing Director of the Kogi Agricultural Development Project, in his contributions said that Stakeholders need to do more in the upliftment of agriculture to boost food production.
He said that Kogi is not effectively utilising resources at its disposal to develop agriculture and solicitated government and citizens efforts to aid agriculture.
He commended women farmers in their efforts to join hands with government to provide enough food for the people stressing that women farmers are doing very well.
The Managing Director noted that Agriculture is of greater value to any nation worldwide as it is capable of providing employment for the Youths and boosting the nation’s dwindling economy.
In attendance during the meeting includes; representatives of Kogi Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Small-scale Farmers Organisation In Nigeria SWOFON, Ministries of Agriculture, Budget and Planning, Commerce and Cooperatives as well as Civil Society Organisations.