Lack of access to farmlands slowing PFJs implementation in Sunyani West

Lack of access to farmlands is affecting the implementation of the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme in the Sunyani West District.

Investigations revealed that about 90 percent of the women farmers in the area were settlers, making it difficult for them to access lands to engage in large scale farming.

This, situation according to the “Kantro Mmaa Nkabom Kuo”, a farmer-based organisation in the district was discouraging many of the PfFJs to continue with their farm work.

Currently, the women farmers are engaged in a system they described as “Domenkye” where they agreed with land owners, acquire farm lands and share proceeds with the owners.

“This traditional system does not favour us because we do not get enough profits from our farm business”, Madam Theresah Darpine, the Chairperson of the group told the GNA.

She Darpine advocated increased or equal access to farmlands for women and other vulnerable groups in the District and called for reforms in the land administration system to enable women farmers to access farmlands and expand their farming activities to sustain the PfFs.

Mad. Darpine commended the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) fund for supporting her organisation to implement an advocacy project aimed at helping to remove bottlenecks hindering their farm work.

The nine-month project titled “Women access to farm lands and reduction of land owners shares to farm produce” seeks to negotiate for the reduction of the land owners’ share of farm produce from 33 percent to 10 per cent under the “Domenkye” system.

Dr Gabriel Benarkuu, BUSAC service provider, underscored the need to support women farmers to also access financial support to expand their farming activities.

He said BUSAC fund had given 362 advocacy grants to various business groups and associations in the country, and commended the fund for its efforts towards creating sound environment for the private sector to thrive.

Mr Gilbert Sonpki, the Sunyani West District Director of Agriculture, said the PfFJs had created opportunities for farmers to expand their farming activities and advised those who had not registered with the programme to do so.

Though, he could not immediately give statistics, Mr Sonpki said more farmers developed interest and registered with the PfFJs.