The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, headed by its Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, has applauded all farmers across the country for their immense contribution for the development of Agriculture in the country. In a statement signed by its Communication Advisor, Abraham Asare, it recognized women as the key actors in Agriculture. Below is the copy of the release.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) congratulates all farmers and award winners on the occasion of farmers’ Day. The Ministry especially congratulates all women farmers for their immense contribution to Ghana’s agriculture sector. On this special occasion, MoGCSP recognizes women as the key actors in Ghana's agriculture, constituting more than half the agricultural labour force and producing 70 per cent of the country's food stock. Women constitute 95 per cent of those involved in agro processing and 85 per cent of those in food distribution. Their contribution to agricultural work varies even more widely depending on the specific crop under cultivation, type of involvement and activity. Besides, agriculture-related activities, smallholder women farmers are heavily engaged in domestic and reproductive tasks, which are crucial to the maintenance of households, and communities.
The specific role of smallholder women farmers in food production has made many of them repositories of knowledge on cultivation, processing, and preservation of nutritious and locally adapted crop varieties.
We believe that if women farmers had the same access to productive resources as their men counterparts, they could increase yields and could raise total agricultural output in Ghana. This in turn could reduce hunger in Ghana. In the long run, this would improve family nutrition, food security, maternal and child health, promote environmental management, minimize poverty levels and reduce conflicts.
On this occasion of Farmers’ Day, we urge the financial sector especially to continue to complement Government’s efforts by making credit accessible to women farmers for the general good of the Ghanaian society.
A 2013 research by SEND Ghana showed that only 16 per cent of smallholder farmers are able to access credit with wide regional variations. For instance in Greater Accra, 20 percent of women farmers had access to credit; whereas in Upper East, less than 1 in 10 did. Credit to women farmers can finance important investments in businesses and equipment including processing equipment that can make huge differences to farm production, marketing and income.
We acknowledge the help cash transfers under the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) programme are giving to rural dwellers in animal rearing. The Ghanaian woman is industrious, and we believe that with a little push from the private sector, their contribution to the sector will even be greater.
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection believes that the implementation of the gender strategy rolled over into the Land Administration Project with the aim of promoting coherent and sustained approach to addressing women and men’s concerns for equitable development in relation to land administration through gender sensitive data gathering, participation and in the design and monitoring processes will go a long way to address gender imbalances in access to resources for agriculture.
Happy Farmer’s Day