Female farmers seek favourable agricultural policies

By D.I.
Laary, GNA

Accra, Sept. 21, GNA – Women farmers have
called for the introduction of robust agricultural policies that favour females
into agribusinesses to inject dynamism in farming practices towards ensuring
food security.

The female champions in agribusinesses, therefore,
urged the Government to come out with comprehensive programmes to aid women
access credit facilities, secure lands, receive special training to facilitate
their farming activities.

The policies should also seek to remove
inimical traditional and cultural practices that prohibit females,
particularly, rural women farmers, from owning landed property and business
entities.

The women were speaking to the Ghana News
Agency at the Super Champions for Change Women’s Conference, organised by
African Lead, a USAID primary capacity building programme in Sub Saharan
Africa, with the support of Feed the Future – a US government global hunger and
food security initiative.

More than 100 women across the country took
part in the two-day confab where members of the Women in Agribusiness Network
of Ghana (WIANG) engaged in networking, learning and information sharing
sessions on opportunities and new technologies in agribusiness.

The conference was to enable the participants
to improve their skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship and ways of doing
farming as business and to be inspired to start and grow their own
agribusinesses.

Mrs Helena Azu-Adjei, the Gender Desk Officer,
Farmers Organisation Network in Ghana, hailed Africa Lead for building the
capacity of rural women farmers.

She said Ghanaian women required inclusive
agricultural policies that would persuade women to apply their new learning
skills and technologies to boost yields.

“I have had so many trainings organised by
Africa Lead, through them, we have been able to seek for funds to celebrate
women annually where we invite policy-makers to talk on favourable agric
policies that will favour our women,” she said.

Women are said to be supplied with
agricultural inputs like cutlasses, wheelbarrows, hoes and wellington boots
during the occasion.

“What I am saying is that our women now need
favourable policies to move on, putting in place the enabling environment will
motivate them to produce more,” she said.

Mrs Azu-Adjei, who is also WIANG’s
Coordinator, said her organisation had trained many women in Bowohonmoden in
the Brong Ahafo region on food security, CAADP principles and women’s
involvement in the decision-making process.

The Executive Director of Savannah Integrated
Rural Development, Hajia Alima Sagito Saed, noted that leadership training was
fundamental in agricultural commercialisation and mechanisation.

She said: “I noted that leadership is what is
key in everything that you do, so if the leadership is not strategic, we begin
to have a challenge of transforming any action that we want to do, and it could
be agriculture or anything.”

“What we are doing as an organisation is
strategically working within our women groups.”

“Currently, we have about 120 women group
scattered in the northern region and each one has a maximum of 30 people.”

“What we are doing is to target the leadership
of these groups, build their confidence in such a way that they can be
empowered to produce a long the agriculture value chain.”

Hajia Saed named soya beans and yam as one of
the many men crops that women had undertaken after receiving capacity and
leadership training in agriculture.

She attributed the move to team work and
networking following several tuitions by the US capacity building initiative
programme, which had inspired them to venture into the cultivation of crops,
hitherto, largely controlled by males.

She also said communities in the Region had
formed village savings and loans and open social fund to aid women transform
their businesses and support education and healthcare services.

“Every time there is this challenge of lack of
credit for farming, we have sung this as challenge for long, but it is not
going, it means that we just have to find a way of going around it.”

“We have a situation when women are supporting
their colleague women’s children to pay their school fees or medical bills when
they are sick,” she said.

“So that community unity, social cohesion is
built because of those things and this is because of the agric lessons we are
learning from Africa Lead, to be able to transform agriculture, we are
transforming individuals, we are transforming communities and transforming our
districts.”

Africa Lead contributes to the Feed the Future
goals of reducing hunger and poverty by building the capacity of champions,
defined as men and women leaders in agriculture, to develop, lead and manage
policies, structures and processes essential for transformation processes.

GNA

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