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Diasporia News of Thursday, 29 October 2015

Source: Samuel Hinneh

Ghanaian Farmer Receives Award

Lydia Sasu Lydia Sasu

A farmer and Executive Director of Development Action Association (DAA), Lydia Sasu, has received the 2015 Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award for her exemplary role in empowering rural based women farmers in Ghana.
Lydia Sasu received the award at the Global Farmer Awards Reception hosted by Truth About Trade & Technology Foundation / Global Farmer Network and CropLife International during the 2015 World Food Prize in Iowa, USA.
The award is given annually since 2007 and recognizes a global farmer who exemplifies strong leadership, vision and resolve in advancing the rights of all farmers to choose the technology and tools that will improve the quality, quantity and availability of agricultural products around the world.
She initiated World Rural Women’s Day training sessions targeting women farmers using local languages to communicate effectively with policymakers. Ms Sasu’s support has allowed women in the community to be viewed as assets with valuable advice and a key part of the solution.
She co-founded the Development Action Association (DAA) in 1977. The Association operates in 50 communities and 98% of the beneficiaries are rural women. The DAA focuses on empowering women, improving literacy and helping with business development skills like bookkeeping. In 2009, a member of the DAA, Eva Ametepey Agbovi, from Sege was adjudged the second best farmer in Ghana, an achievement she holds dear to her heart.
“In Ghana, women like me cultivate most of our country’s vegetables, cereals, and other food crops. Even with cash crops such as cocoa, which are mostly owned by men, we weed, harvest and transport the final product to marketplaces. More than 20 percent of our work is unpaid. It contributes to sustenance and family operations,” says Lydia Sasu.
In Ghana and Africa, farmers lack access to credit, land and labour, in addition to illiteracy, poor management skills and bad or non-existent infrastructure, she said.

“The delivery of extension services is skewed. And although agriculture is essential, it’s also held in low regard,” she noted.

The Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award was established to honor Dean Kleckner, Chairman Emeritus of the organization. Previous award recipients are Rosalie Ellasus, Philippines (2007); Jeff Bidstrup, Australia (2008); Jim McCarthy, Ireland (2009), Gabriela Cruz, Portugal (2010); Gilbert arap Bor, Kenya (2011) Rajesh Kumar, India (2012) V. Ravichandran, India (2013), and Ian Pigott, United Kingdom (2014).

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