CARE International-Ghana, a Nongovernmental Organisation (NGO), is helping women farmers in Lambussie District of the Upper West Region to document and secure farm lands to help raise food crop production.
Inadequate access to household productive resources and lack of access to fertile farmlands among women farmers had been a bane to large scale food crop cultivation in the District.
CARE International-Ghana, under its “Household Economic Security for Poor Women” (HESP) project, conducted gender dialogues in the communities to help demystify myths and beliefs affecting development of women and girls.
Mrs Grace Atiah, a Gender Advisor of CARE international, said operations of the project brought about the implementation of rights and laws reforms.
She added that their enforcement helped to shift norms and enhanced the conditions of women.
Mrs Atiah was addressing stakeholders at a two-day workshop to share experiences and evaluate the impact of the project on the lives of the people at Piina, a community in the district.
The “Big Lottery Fund” is funding the project which spans from 2015 to 2018 and is expected to increase household income for smallholder women farmers and entrepreneurs through effective engagement in economic opportunities along the soya and groundnut value chain.
Gender champions had been trained to support women in acquiring productive lands for cultivation of food crops, Mrs Atiah said.
“Women now have the freedom, power and knowledge to make decisions affecting their own lives and those of their families and communities while intra-household relationships at the community level has also improved”.
The HESP project seeks to improve the economic security of poor women smallholder farmers and their households in the district by increasing their productivity and access to inputs and markets.
It also aims at increasing agricultural productivity for smallholder women farmers through improved and sustainable farming methods and increased access to productive resources.
The project targeted 3,000 women smallholder farmers in the Lambussie and Garu-Tempane Districts, but indirectly some 18,000 household members have benefited from the scheme, Mrs Atiah said.
Care International Project Manager Mrs Agnes Loriba who is in charge of Pathways Initiative Project, urged women farmers in the soy and groundnut value chain to diversify their produce to other uses to enable them earn more incomes.
Farmers were encouraged to utilise other relevant technologies to help increase agricultural production and enhance livelihoods.
Mr. Banousin Richard, the Project Officer of Partnership for Rural Development Action (PRUDA), a local NGO, said it was operating in 19 communities in the Lambussie District and the project had mobilised 1,148 farmers comprising 985 females and 163 males from 46 Village Saving Loans Associations to produce soy and groundnuts.
He said the project had facilitated the formation of Lambussie Tractors Association to provide tractor services to farmers and more than 3,670 farmers had benefited from the tractor services.
About 4,567 acres since 2016 had been ploughed while 5,688 farmers, comprising 5,601 females and 87 males had been trained on soy utilisation.
Mr Richard said two threshers had been purchased to help reduce the burden of farmers and trained 237 community-based agricultural extension assistants to educate farmers on modern agricultural farming methods and practices.
He appealed to farmers to burn all their farm residuals’ before ploughing to help reduce the incidents of the Fall Army Worm, which devastated food crops last year.