Women farmers are worst hit as a result of fuel subsidy removal by the Nigerian government under the supervision of Mr. Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian president. According to them, the action exposes women farmers to poverty and threatens food security.
An official of the Small-scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), who spoke to the MAWA Foundation in Jigawa State narrated how women farmers in the state are struggling to survive as a result of fuel subsidy removal.
Mrs. Hadiza, the Jigawa state (SWOFON) Coordinator who spoke to MAWA-Foundation, disclosed that a good number of women farmers in her state abandoned their farms because they could not afford petrol which has gone high due to subsidy removal.
Hadiza who painted a disturbing picture of how women farmers are facing difficulties as a result of subsidy removal disclosed that many women have also abandoned their farms as a result of the high cost of transportation to their farms that accompanied subsidy removal.
Hadiza said she is worried that many women farmers who depend on irrigation for their rice, beans, and maize farms will be forced to quit during the dry season because they cannot afford the high cost of petrol.
“As soon as petrol price went up as a result of fuel subsidy removal, many women irrigation farmers in Jigawa state abandoned their farms since they could not afford petrol to power generator and water their farms”, Hadiza said.
“I am worried because many women farmers who depend on irrigation will be forced to quit if the high cost of petrol is allowed to continue, they cannot afford it” Hadiza added.
She, however, told MAWA that the only way out for the women farmers is to form a co-operative, that will make it easy for them to contribute money in groups to purchase petrol and share among themselves.
She pointed out that, this is the only way each of them can get a little quantity of petrol that can enable them to fuel the generator and water their farms.
She also warned that even with the cooperative arrangement, many women will not be able to contribute money because of the poverty that is staring them in the face.
Hadiza disclosed that if the situation is allowed to persist, women are going to suffer the most, they will have no money haven quitted their farms while hunger triples.
MAWA in a report, Fuel Subsidy: energy security we can’t do without, called on the Nigerian state to reinstate the Fuel Subsidy if she is serious about building a productive and competitive economy.
We reminded the government that no country builds a competitive and productive economy without cheap and affordable energy that is made possible through fuel subsidies. And, at the moment, petrol is Nigeria’s energy security and until that changes, removing fuel subsidies will destroy production and render the economy impotent. A situation women farmers in Jigawa are already corroborating.