The Uwema of Emughan Clan in the Abua/Odual Local Government area of Rivers State, Thankyou N.W. Obagana IV has called on the state government on the need to support rural women in the various communities who cultivate the land on subsistence basis to earn a living.
According to the Enughan Monarch, since the rural women practice subsistence agriculture and are known to produce more than 70% of the food everybody eat, it behoves the authorities to come to their aid in order to enhance their output.
The royal father who spoke to The Tide over the weekend at his palace in Aminigboko said the women needed finance from the government through the banks so that even though they are known to use crude implements, they can afford to acquire more land and labour.
“You know, crude implements are used but most of the time they need money to acquire enough land to plant enough crops that the harvest will be plentiful”.
According to him, farming was as old as the Abua nation as a whole and that it was disheartening to know that till date, these rural women who have been laboring to feed their families and the society at large have been neglected by past governments in the state.
“You know, farming is as old as the Abua people, so from time, these women have not received any incentive from government”, he lamented.
However, the royal father called on the women to form co-operatives to enable them access government loans in order to embark on large farms.
“The women should be encouraged to belong to agriculture co-operative societies whereby they can be able to access government soft loans to improve and expand their farms.
“sometime even if you have enough money, we can get in touch with relevant agricultural extension officers to come and train them move a bit on a large scale production”, he advised.
He explained that so long as there was enough money, these women could venture into some form of mechanized farming where they could hire tractors and other agriculture related machinery, adding that that was why government financing of the rural farmers became critical.
He revealed that there was enough communal land and expressed the view that if the rural farmers come together and plant much they were bound to reap bountifully.
“We have communal land and they can buy land if the money is there so that we can plant much and reap more, because as the saying goes, he that plants more reaps bountifully, he that plants sparingly reaps sparingly” he counseled.
While recalling how he received beneficial instructions when he was a graduate farmer, the royal father further advised government to avail the rural women with agricultural supervisors to educate them on modern trends.