Agric Budget Plus cluster Engages Agric value chain stakeholders on gender Responsive Participatory budgeting in Agriculture.

Agric Budget Plus cluster Engages Agric value chain stakeholders on gender Responsive Participatory budgeting in Agriculture.

Agric Budget Plus cluster Advocacy, a USAID-funded Advocacy has engaged Ebonyi State stakeholders in the agricultural sector on Gender Responsive Participatory budgeting.

The capacity building is done as they advocate for a 5% increase in the agric budget in the state.

The Cluster believes with the 5% increase in the budget, food insecurity, malnutrition will be half resolved.

Eni Elechi, Program Director of CARA Development Foundation, the anchor organization while speaking to journalists on Tuesday during the one-day training explained that the Agric budget plus cluster project
being funded by USAID on the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement project in partnership with Palladium is implemented in Ebonyi, Imo and Abia States of the South East states.

According to him, CARA Development Foundation (CARA) is implementing the Advocacy project with other cluster organizations such as Neighborhood Initiative for Women Advancement (NIWA), Community and Youth Development Initiative (CYDI), Vicar Hope foundation (VICAR HOPE) and CAD Consulting Limited, an IT specialist on “Increasing Agric budget to 5%”.

Eni said the aim is to strengthen the knowledge of stakeholders in the agriculture value chain to make them understand that budgeting is supposed to be inclusive and should ensure that everybody is to be carried along in a budget.

“We are looking at developing budget line to capture every farmer group in the agricultural value chain and lobbying that this budget line with our advocacy on increasing the agricultural budget to 5% will be achieved with the support of the influencers and decision makers.

He further said the essence of the advocacy is to curb food insecurity and poverty reduction for smallholder farmers in Ebonyi state.

Nancy Oko Onya of the Neighborhood Initiative for Women Advancement (NIWA) in her remarks said Ebonyi needs to make the agriculture budget possible for the farmers and improve food sufficiency.

“We want to achieve the 5% budget increase and have the money released and cash backed in the budget.

She urged members of the cluster to work to bring positive change in agriculture.

It was pointed out that Ebonyi imports some rice paddy and yam from northern states thus the need to address the challenges, by increasing the budget to 5% to make food security possible in Ebonyi state

Chijioke Ogbodo who is the Director of Planning in the state Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and Mrs. Ituma Chinyere head of the budget ministry of Finance in their contributions said it is very important for the agric budget to be increased because the agric sector sustains the whole economy.

Mrs. Ituma particularly said, “We depend on them for food and because of this, I believe that agric budget should be increased even above five percent ( 5%).

On the marginalization of the female gender in the agriculture sector, she said before now the women farmers are marginalized because the men were closer to the decision makers but now the gender-responsive budgeting has made the government realize the importance of women in agriculture and the government is giving attention to women now unlike before.

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