Meet the female tractor drivers defying the odds in agricultural mechanisation

Trained female tractor drivers

Ghana seems to have a tremendous demand for competent female tractor drivers: Only one week after the tractor training for 12 women, nine women have already been offered an employment contract by several commercial agricultural farms. It seemed to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Only some days ago at the closing ceremony of the tractor training for women, Dr. Elke Stumpf, the Head of the “Sustainable Employment through Agribusiness (AgriBiz) Programme said: “During the last four weeks, 12 women underwent skill development training in agriculture mechanisation. They are confident to increase their employability prospects e.g. starting their own farming or tractor service business or find employment on a commercial farm.”

AgriBiz cooperated with the Ghanaian company; Agro Kings Ltd. and the Agriculture Engineering Services Directorate (AESD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). These partners have organised the Women in Agriculture Mechanisation Training, for 12 enthusiastic and daring women who have successfully completed this training. This skill development training is a continuation of the excellent GIZ support in this field.

Under the GIZ Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) and Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training for Women (ATVET4W) initiatives, so far 434 females have been trained in specific topics. Since 2018, 194 females have been trained in tractor operation, maintenance, and management including these 12 women. Between 2020 and 2021, around 250 females have been trained in the use of various machinery for specific value chains such as the mango sprayer, pruner, and harvester, oil palm harvester among others.

According to Mr. A.K.B. Deyang, Director of AESD, “it is hoped that this MoFA/GIZ collaboration will continue, in order to ensure that as many women as possible are able to access training as farm machinery operators/managers since over 600 applications of women were received.” He added: “The initiative is directly in line with the agricultural mechanisation strategy of the government of Ghana to modernize agriculture.”

Ms. Angela Barnes, the General Manager of Agro Kings underlined: “collaboration across all sectors is vital in our fight to ensure food security, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Making this partnership – between GIZ, the Government of Ghana, and Agro Kings – even more important in improving agricultural systems. We look forward to putting more women, literally, in the driving seat in the mechanisation of agriculture in Ghana.”

AgriBiz is a programme which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the European Union.

It works with both private and public partners to address the challenges that affect thriving women and youth in agribusiness. Addressing these challenges will make them competitive and poised to be engaged in and/or to create sustainable job opportunities especially for themselves, and others in agribusiness and other related sectors.