Business News of Monday, 12 September 2011
Accra, Sept 12, GNA - The General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) in collaboration with Actionaid Ghana (AAG) has organised a participatory review and reflection process workshop for 25 Cotton and Rice farmers in Accra over the weekend.
The workshop was to review and reflect on the activities of GAWU and AGG collaborations under the year ending 2011 and also the way forward for the two institutions.
Mr Kingsley Ofori-Nkansah, General Secretary, GAWU of Ghana Trade Union, said the two organisations sought to advocate and campaign in the areas of Food Security and Rights to Food, Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, Empowerment to the rural poor, especially women and children.
He said they were able to draw the attention of the Ghanaian and duty bearers to ensure the right to adequate food as a fundamental human right as enshrined in the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights.
Mr Ofori-Nkansah noted that it was through their campaign that the right to food has been considered as part of the constitutional review process.
He expressed concern over land grabbing by multi-national companies for biofuel production, militating against the local farmer, adding, the act could be described as criminal and reckless irresponsibility on the part of the state.
He called on government, traditional rulers, trade unions, civil society organisations and all concerned to address the issue for national development.
He said they were able to train rice farmers at Asutware and Ashiaman rice irrigation projects to use the system of rice intensification to produce rice commercial quantities without the use of chemicals
He said as part of activities for the future, the union would organise a workshop to educate cotton farmers on the processes to increase their yield without destroying the environment.
"We will also sensitise them on how to develop negotiation skills, internal lobbying and advocacy in their activities," he added.
He said the union would continue to provide leadership in pursuing the demands of its members in the Ghana Cotton Company for the payment of their severance allowances with interest.
Apostle Dr Queronica Quarley Quartey, Rights to Food and Climate Change Policy Advisor, AAG, said her organisation believed in assisting disadvantage communities, hence their motto: End Poverty Together".
She said her outfit would deplore empowerment, advocacy, solidarity and campaign strategies to achieve their goal of supporting the disadvantage in the community. Mr. Karim Saagbul, Coordinator for GAWU, said under the year of review, workshops were organised for cotton and rice farmers in the three Northern Regions to strengthen their capacity on policy formulation and implementation.
The farmers commended the two institutions for their support in sensitizing them on best practices and also in terms of sustainable agriculture, trade and climate change.
They also called on government to come to their aid in addressing some of their challenges as it has starting revamping the two sectors.