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Business News of Thursday, 7 May 2015

Source: GNA

‘Improve access to technology for women’

Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, on Tuesday called for improved access to technology for women in agriculture to enhance their production.

He said despite the enormous contribution women farmers made to agriculture and food production in Ghana, they were still strongly disadvantaged in access to land and technology.

Dr Alhassan was speaking at the opening of a two-day National Multi-stakeholder Consultative Conference on Agriculture Investment, Gender and Land in Ghana, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and its partners in Accra.

The Minister said to make agricultural investments more inclusive and beneficial to the rural population, especially women, there was the need to promote dialogue.

“The sharing of knowledge and experiences will enhance our capacity to promote investments that bring substantive benefits to the local population, increase income and food security of smallholder families, and foster the vibrancy of our rural economies and societies,” he said.

Dr Lamourdia Thiombiano, FAO Representative in Ghana, said efforts had been made to foster international and regional frameworks that promoted responsible and inclusive public-private investment in agriculture.

He said despite the progress made, there had been limited focus on how agricultural investments differently affected women and men from various social groups.

Dr Thiombiano said women’s rights and priorities remained insufficiently addressed in legal frameworks, national and local policies, budgets, as well as in investment strategies at all levels.

He said the FAO recognised the centrality of gender and inclusive agricultural growth to its mandate to achieve food security for all by raising levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity and resource management.

He said the FAO had also stepped up its investment in strengthening member countries’ capacity to use sex disaggregated data in policy analysis; programme and project planning and evaluation.

“FAO is currently supporting National Statistical Offices to improve data on land and is providing technical advisory of sex disaggregated data in on-going and planned agricultural censuses,” he said.