Regional News of Saturday, 26 October 2013
Naa Robert Bob Loggah, Chief of Tibani in the Nadowli/Kaleo district of the Upper West Region has appealed to policy makers in the agricultural sector to view gender planning as a key component of agricultural development.
According to him, gender planning in agriculture recognized the intersection of males and females towards economic viability and should therefore be promoted to enhance food security.
Naa Loggah made the call at a seminar organized by ActionAid-Ghana, an NGO, to mark the International Day of Rural Women in Jirapa.
Organized under the theme, “The Potential of Sustainable Agriculture in Advancing Rural Women’s Livelihoods, Food Security and Nutrition,” the seminar brought together hundreds of rural women farmers in Jirapa and surrounding communities to deliberate and voice out their concerns for the attention of the authorities.
Naa Loggah said rural women contributed a lot to food production but were at a disadvantaged position in terms of access to agricultural resources.
He said proper gender planning would therefore ensure that more women were brought into the agricultural sector to be at par with their male counterparts, hence, leading to increased food production and food security in the country.
Mr. Tontie Binado, the ActionAid Programme Officer said the International Day of Rural Women recognized “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agriculture and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”
He said the seminar therefore hoped to increase stakeholders' appreciation and commitment to promoting sustainable agriculture that supported the livelihoods of small-holder and women farmers who formed a larger proportion of the farming population.
Mr. Binado stated that even though women operated largely as small-holder farmers, they still contributed about 80 per cent of the total domestic food production, noting that cost and access to fertilizer and tractor services still remained a big challenge to them.
The ActionAid Ghana Programme Officer also called for the need to consider the critical role of women in the design and implementation of programmes and policies in the agricultural sector.
He said ActionAid Ghana and its partner organizations had initiated interventions, including simple on-farm composting technology, donkey traction for women farmers and Female Extension Volunteers (FEV) among other programmes, to support rural women to promote sustainable agriculture and reduce poverty.