Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Women Farmers Appeal for Support

Women Farmers Appeal for Support
Daily Graphic, Tuesday, 16 March, 2010; (Gender and Children), Page 11
Alhandu Abdul Hamid, Tango

Women are the most predominant force in the Agricultural sector with about 87 per cent involved in food production.

Although Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy and contributes 80 per cent to total national revenue, women in the sector lack access to and control over productive resources such as land livestock, they also lack access to credit opportunities and these factors contribute to their low standards of living.

Women farmers in the Tallensi/Nabdan District of the Upper East Region, who are facing similar problems, have appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to support them with agricultural extension services.

The farmers who are heads of households in the communities in the district, indicated that the providing them with these services will not only help to sustain their farming activities but will also ensure food security for their households.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic at the forum organized by Action Aid in collaboration with BONATADU, a local non-governmental organization based in the Upper East Region, the secretary of Laamtaaba Women’s group, Madam Veronica Gbandaan said Female –headed-house-holds in the region face a lot of challenges.

She noted that apart from the challenge of getting agricultural extension services, they were also faced with the problem of getting bullock plough and tractor services to prepare their fields.

The officer in charge of Food Right and Climate Change of Action Aid Ghana, Mr. Joseph Degbedzui said action aid and BONATADU share a common vision of eradicating poverty in the country.

He said a world without poverty and injustices would enable people live dignified lives hence their commitment to work with people who were excluded in their communities to achieve their development challenges. He mentioned some of the communities as Kulpeliga, Datoko, Sheaga, Winkogo-Dapore, Numgu and all in the Tallensi /Nabdam District.

An officer from the MOFA in the Tallensi/Nabdam District, Mr. Bernard My-Issah said a desk, had been specifically set up by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to cater for the specific needs of women.

He said MOFA had a Bullock Farm project which provides Bullock farm services as well as seeds to and fertilizer to beneficiaries to cultivate soya beans ,rice, tomato and sorghum ,who will after harvesting ,adding that it was a full cost recovery programme and urged the women to take advantage of the programme to improve their livelihood.

The Tallensi /Nabdam District coordinating Director Mr.Fuseini Alhassan said even though the assembly was faced with financial constraints due to the peculiar nature of the group, it was prepared to offer them free tractor services if they were prepared to fuel the tractors.

He thanked Action Aid Ghana for their continuous support, and added that for the past four years, they have been supporting the District in the area of agriculture, education and health which has seen conditions improving for the people in the District.

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