Solidaridad West Africa, a
solution oriented civil society organisation has appealed to the federal government to prevail on states and local government councils to make land available for women to enable them venture into farming in order to generate income and improve their livelihood.
The Programme Manager , oil palm Solidaridad in Nigeria, Mr Kenechukwu Onukwube made the appeal over the weekend at Anyigba in Dekina local government area of Kogi State during a workshop organized by Solidaridad for oil palm farmers , community leaders, civil society organisations (CSOs) and local government authorities from Enugu and Kogi states to harmonized the community-based land-use plans for different communities in the two states.
Onukwube who stated that in many states of the federation lands are gazetted and classified, lamented that the organization has identified inability of women to have access to land , describing the situation as a major challenge in Nigeria.
He therefore appealed to federal government to prevailed on state and local government councils to make land available for women and young people who are interested in farming to improve their standard of living at the rural areas.
“We have been on serious advocacy in collaboration with CSOs to public authorities over the issue of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in some states which takes a long process and the farmers don’t have what it takes to acquire such land.
“We also recognizes the power of the chairmen of local government councils in granting Customary Right of Occupancy, so we have been telling them to ignite the law so that it can help farmers especially women to have access to land for agricultural purposes” he said.
Speaking on the imperative of the workshop, the programme manager, said that the meeting was meant for beneficiaries of
National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) project to harmonise land-use plans that emanated from communities and local government areas of Enugu and Kogi state.
He pointed out that the idea of harmonization was to ensure that the Land-Use Plans evolve into Sustainable Management Plan for the states to enable farmers have access to land for the purpose of oil palm farming, noting that Solidaridad West Africa through its initiated oil palm Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP), supported all the NISCOPS beneficiary communities to develop a land-use plan.
“The idea is to enable us to take a critical look at what emanated from the communities so that we can be able to fashion out how best we can effectively manage our land resources sustainably in such a way that will bring economic benefits to our farmers , stem social problems , make oil palm farming lucrative so that more young men and women can go into farming to earn livelihood” he said.