Women want government to address agricultural challenges


The Nakori women in agriculture have appealed to the government to make fertilizer and tractor services readily available to rural women farmers to facilitate crop production to empower women in the area.

They complained that access to fertilizers, tractor services, subsidised credit, and improved seeds under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme were difficult to get during farming season.

The women made the appeal during a community durbar on gender-responsive budgeting organised by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) at the Nakori community in the Wa municipality to create a platform for farmers to discuss the needs and challenges concerning the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

The durbar of the trade and agriculture policy and practice advocacy and research organisation shared findings from a data, which contained the views of male, female and youth farmers for the 2020 national budget.

Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, Policy Officer of GTLC said the organisation conducted a survey on how women, men and youth get access to government policies and policy interventions especially planting for Food and Jobs programme.

He indicated that, access to fertilizer, tractor services, extension service, subsidised credit and market availability under the PFJ programme was a major concern.

Mr Wullingdool noted there was the need to work collectively towards an inclusive development agenda, as the Planting for Food and Jobs policy was implemented to ensure equal benefits of development and to kick out poverty.

Madam Zainab Seidu, a rice farmer said majority of the women planted their crops without fertilizer application, leading to the low yield of crops this year.

She said the planting for food and jobs policy was a laudable approach, but women were left out on access to fertilizers, tractors, subsidised credit, and improved seeds.

She therefore appealed to policymakers to make national budgets gender -responsive particularly in the agriculture sector and direct more investments to avert the pervasive poverty among vulnerable groups.

“The government needs to put in place conducive environment that would encourage private sector investment in the agricultural sector. This is a key factor to ensuring food security given that the government cannot undertake all activities,” she said.

Mrs Mariam Issahaku, also a rice farmer noted that the targets for improvement of the agricultural sector over the years had failed to take the reality of the rural woman’s contribution to the agricultural sector into consideration.

Sharing her experiences as a farmer, she said even though rural women were hardly recognised in the agricultural sector, they contributed a great deal of their labour to support the weeding, harvesting and carrying of the final product to the marketing centres for sale.

Through such activities, she said, some of the women were able to support their families and put their children through school saying, “We may be insignificant, but our efforts can’t also go unrecognised”.

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