Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, the Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Agriculture and Nutrition (C-WAN), has appealed to the government to create agricultural land banks to enable the vulnerable groups in society to have access to fertile land for farming purposes.
He said the vulnerable groups, including women, could register with the government at the district levels to acquire those productive lands to farm.
Mr Wullingdool, who said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa, said that could be a source of revenue generation for the government as persons who acquired and produced on those lands would be made to pay “a token” into government’s coffers.
The C-WAN is an agricultural and nutrition policy advocacy organisation with the main objective of improving the economy of rural folks, especially women through agriculture as well as promoting the wellbeing of the people through improved nutrition.
“Fertile lands are basic for meaningful farming, but the current land tenure system does not favour many women who may want to engage in commercial farming”, he noted.
He added that women were also faced with the challenge of access to mechanization services such as ploughing and harvesting, as well as farm inputs, which he said negatively affected their farming activities.
Mr Wullingdool thus advocated the need for the government to make available dedicated mechanisation equipment for Women, as well as employ a quota system in the distribution of farm inputs to enable women to have timely access to those services and inputs.
According to him, women farmers were hitherto supported by Civil Society Organisations but that those supports were shrinking due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the dire need to rechannel resources into fighting the pandemic.
He also entreated women to work in groups and associations to give them voice and for their demands to be heard by the appropriate agencies for the needed attention.
The Executive Director appealed to the government to include women farmers in the COVID-19 stimulus package to enable them to overcome the economic impact of the virus and to expand their farming activities.
While urging farmers and the general public to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols such as hand washing and social distancing, he called on the government to strengthen efforts to contain the menace, particularly at the rural level.
“Government needs to put in efforts to curb the pandemic by ramping up containment measures such as the enforcement of social distancing, more education, sensitisation, tailored information for rural women and providing PPE for farmers among others”, Wullingdool observed.