With the government policy to transform agriculture through machinery and implements, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Sagre Bambangi, has indicated that government is critically working at making opportunities in agriculture more accessible to women.
Over the years, efforts of women in agriculture have been hampered by the lack of key augmenting factors, including proper education, improved technology and markets, as well as other productive resources.
For this, Dr Sagre Bambangi said “we are making provisions for some simpler, cheaper machinery that can be easily accessed and used by women.”
The Deputy Minister made this known at the launch of the Women in Agriculture Conference 2019.
According to the 2012 World Development Report (WDR) of the World Bank (WB),it is estimated that if female farmers in Ghana had the same access to fertilizers and other agro inputs such as improved technology and education, among others as their male counterparts, the overall maize yields for example in the country would increase by almost one-sixth.
Statistics show that about 70 percent of the agricultural workers, 80 percent of food producers and 15 percent of those who process basic food are women.
Further to this, women undertake about 70 percent to 85 percent of the rural marketing; thus making up more than two-thirds of the workforce in agricultural production.
Agrihouse Foundation’s Executive Director, Alberta Nana Akyea Akosa stressed on the need for a paradigm shift from the low level of recognition given to the role of women in agriculture.
“We believe that it is important for governments to pay serious attention to women in agriculture so as to accelerate the effort in agricultural growth,” Akosa said.
To further this course, the Women in Food and Agriculture Conference (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards has been instituted.
This Conference will seek to bring together women interested in Agriculture, institutions interested in empowering women, women entrepreneurs, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to discuss issues relating to women and their roles in agriculture.
This will further serve as a vehicle to draw government’s attention and other policy making institutions to the low level of recognition being given to the role of women in agriculture.
WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards, is an initiative of Agrihouse Foundation, with Women in Food and Agricultural Development (WIAD) and the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG) as implementing and organizing partners.
By Joshua W. Amlanu