Dr.Gyiele Nurah, the Minister of State In-charge of Agriculture, has stressed the need to effectively address the socio-economic barriers inhibiting women’s active participation in the agricultural value chain.
He said increasing financial resources was not enough to increase productivity at all levels of the agricultural value chain.
There is therefore, the need for coordinated actions to ensure gender sensitivity and equitable distribution of resources to strengthen women’s contribution in the agricultural value chain and boost productivity in the sector.
Dr Nurah made the call at the Second Women in Food and Agriculture (WOFAGRIC) Leadership Training Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards 2020, held for some gallant women farmers in the Ashanti Region.
The programme was organised by Agrihouse Foundation, an agro-based organisation, with support from Canada, absa Bank Ghana and YARA.
It was held on the theme: “Transforming and sustaining women in agriculture: the role of public, private and development partners.”
It gave the opportunity for a total of 15 women farmers in the Region to be awarded with plaques, citations and boxes of liquid fertilizer.
Dr Nurah explained that women had over the years broadened their involvement in agriculture-producing food crops, tree crops, poultry and livestock, making them strong agents in the food value chain.
“Women also work in food processing and packaging, marketing as well as ICT sectors in Ghana and the women are transforming agriculture to a more resilient and sustainable one’, he emphasized.
He was optimistic that women could be key agents of change and help in achieving the targets in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which aims at ending hunger and improving nutrition by 2030, if they were given the needed attention to increase pace in agriculture production.
Dr Nurah said the government’s flagship programme in agriculture had women at its core, adding that, together with development partners and other private sector stakeholders, the government was prioritizing the training of women especially, in the adoption of modern agricultural techniques that were tailored in local conditions.
He said such training sessions should be backed by the provision of extension services, storage facilities, dual infrastructure and communication technologies, access to markets and credits and support in the building of stronger organisations and farmer cooperatives.
Dr Nurah commended Agrihouse Foundation for supporting women in agriculture and said it was in line with the government’s efforts at encouraging more women and youth to go into agriculture.
Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Founder and Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, said women who were crucial resources in agriculture and the rural economy faced constraints that reduced their productivity.
She said their efforts were hampered by the lack of augmenting factors such as education, improved technology, markets and other productive resources.
Ms Akosa said the awards were to recognise the contribution of women in the agricultural value chain and encouraged them to continue to work hard to increase production and food security.
Madam Cecilia Akoka, the overall winner of the “Gold in the Soil Awards 2020” and a farmer from Nkwankwa in the Offinso North District, encouraged the youth to venture into agriculture.
She stressed the need for support for women in agriculture to help them mentor young people to venture into agriculture.