Stakeholders urged to prioritize the needs of women in agriculture

Jerry Azanduna, GNA

Bawku (U/E), Jan.
18, GNA – The Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP) has said
there is the need to place more emphasis on the needs of women in agriculture
to encourage and empower them in their farming activities.

The GhaFFaP is a
national consortium of Forest and Farm Producers Organizations (FFOP) drawn
from three ecological zones of Ghana, the Savannah, Transition, and the Forest
ecological zones.

Mr Philip Ayamba, the Programmes Coordinator
for ZAL-TAABA Organic Farmers Association (ZOFA), a leading member of the FFOP,
speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Bawku after an
engagement with women farmers, said women are the major source of agriculture
produce in the country and there is the need to grant them access to land, farm
inputs and other farming materials to enable them increase production.

He said women were a
proactive and productive force in the farming business and allowing them to
access land for farming would bring massive improvement in the agricultural

Mr Ayamba called on
stakeholders in agriculture such as the traditional authorities, family heads,
husbands and the government to allow women gain access to free land for farming
in order to increase the production of food.

These measures could
also help in sustaining the new livelihood empowerment policies such as
‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ and the ‘Planting for Export and Rural
Development’ (PERD) that would create ready market for Agriculture products, he

Other difficulties
women in agriculture encounter, he said, include: ”the lack of financial
support from state institutions such as MASLOC and difficulties in accessing
loans from the banks to expand their farms and businesses; and where land is
limited, some women rent land during the farming period for production- these
amongst others hinder the development of women in farming”. 

Mr Ayamba said to
improve women’s effective participation in agriculture, the land given to women
by husbands and relatives must not be too far from home to enable them perform
other house chores and those who lose their husbands be allowed to keep the
family farm lands.

He said the major
challenges of agriculture in the northern zone are storage and markets and
expressed the hope that PERD and the ‘One District One Warehouse’ policies
would solve the problems.