ActionAid Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on government, to implement resilient agricultural practices to support smallholder women farmers for improved adaptation to climate change.
ActionAid made the appeal through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in a statement signed by Mr John Nkaw, Interim Country Director of ActionAid Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema.
The statement was to commemorate this year’s International Day of Rural Women; ActionAid therefore appealed to the Ministries to promote women friendly national climate adaptation plans and incorporate climate change issues into their budgets to ensure funding streams were created for projects targeted at improving smallholder farmers’ awareness and adaptation to climate change.
The statement said the degree to which people were affected by the impact of climate change was partly a function of their social status, gender, poverty, power and access to control over resources.
The International Day of Rural Women presents an opportunity for Ghanaians and the international community to reflect on the contribution of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating poverty globally.
The theme for this year, “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”, puts the spotlight on the essential role these rural women and girls play in the food system – from production, to processing, consumption, and distribution of food.
ActionAid said smallholder women farmers who contributed to food security were usually the hardest hit when drought and other unfavorable environmental conditions destroyed farmlands.
It was imperative to implement resilient agricultural practices that would help maintain Ghana’s ecosystems and strengthen the capacity for adaptation to climate change to combat extreme weather patterns, drought, floods and disaster, especially for people living in poverty and vulnerable groups.
ActionAid also call for strengthened partnerships between government agencies and civil society to scale up gender-responsive agro-ecology, an alternative to industrial agriculture that benefits women small-scale farmers, supports food security and protects biodiversity and ecosystems.
The statement said despite the key role women played in the agricultural sector, persistent violence such as domestic and sexual violence, child and forced marriages, Unpaid Care Work, especially in deprived and marginalised communities had contributed to the relegation and exclusion of women from decision-making and positions of influence in the agricultural sector.
“These and other political and socio-cultural factors have affected the political participation of women, especially in the Agricultural sector in Ghana,” the statement said.