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General News of Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Source: GNA

Traditional authorities urged to support women with farmlands

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Women in Agriculture Platform (WAP), a women-led farmer-based organisation, has appealed to traditional authorities in the Gushegu Municipality to support women farmers with adequate farmlands to boost crop production in the area.

According to the platform, women farmers had limited access to farmlands, which it said hinders their inclusion in agricultural production, hence the need for traditional rulers to support them to improve on their livelihoods through farming.

Hajia Yakubu Mariama, Chairperson of WAP made the appeal at a stakeholders engagement on women's access to fertile lands at Gushegu, which was organised by Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a non-governmental organisation, with funding support from AGREE Activity.

The engagement was to afford stakeholders the opportunity to interact, discuss, deliberate and reflect on whether or not women farmers deserve to be given fertile lands to cultivate.

Hajia Mariama said “ A World Bank Report of 2018 indicates that out of 14,682,873 women (49.32%) of Ghana’s 29, 767,108 population, only 26% of women were gainfully employed in the agriculture sector."

She mentioned low level of education, inadequate agricultural extension officers, difficulty in acquiring land, and access to credit facilities as some of the factors that contributed to some of the challenges women farmers faced in the agricultural sector in the country.

She alleged that there were some issues of gender inequalities in accessing some incentives under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, and urged the authorities to put in place measures to enhance women’s participation and access to such incentives.

Mr Fuseini Karimu, Assistant Director of the Gushegu Municipal Assembly, said women are imbued with managerial skills that was beneficial to society, and emphasised the need for them to be allowed and supported to venture into agricultural production.

Alhaji Osman Abdel Rahman, Executive Director of GDCA, said women played key roles in national development, adding that, they deserved to be supported to expand their farmlands to keep their interest in the agricultural sector to improve on their living standards.

He called on chiefs and elders in the Gushegu Municipality to support efforts to help achieve the desired results.

Mr Zakaria Mustapha, Gushegu Municipal Director of Agriculture mentioned some of the farm practices that could be adopted to enhance soil fertility, and advised farmers to use compost manure and broadcast animal droppings on their farmlands to improve their crop yields.

He further advised farmers to stop cutting down trees as well as bush burning, and said it affects the fertility of the soil.