GIZ working to improve women inclusiveness in agriculture
The German International Cooperation (GIZ) says it is working to reduce the inequalities that women suffer in the agricultural sector through its intervention to promote women inclusiveness in the sector and sustainable income.
It said women were faced with the challenges of limited access to productive agricultural lands, lack of access to agricultural information, low participation in agricultural governance, poverty and insufficient access to credit facilities for agricultural purposes among others.
Mr Mathias Berthold, the project Manager of the European Union Resilience Against Climate Change (EU-REACH), said this at Gbetuori in the Jirapa Municipality Tuesday, March 8 on the occasion of the International Women’s Day commemoration.
He added that women were also disproportionately affected by the climate change as well as other non-financial resources that could help them develop resilience and sustain their livelihoods.
“The European Union-Ghana Agricultural Programme (EU-GAP) tries to improve the situation by setting a focus on increasing agricultural incomes and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth in rural communities”, Mr Berthold explained.
According to him the projects currently implemented under the EU-GAP were the REACH project, Market Oriented Agricultural Programme (MOAP-NW), and the Investment in Productive Infrastructure Project.
“Since 2017 MOAP-NW and REACH have contributed to protecting natural resources through adopting good agricultural and climate smart practices, improving access to markets through sustainable business and market linkages, and improving access to capital for the value chain actors”, he explained.
The Project Manager indicated that the MOAP-NW had, over the years, trained more than 1,000 women in soya beans and rice processing and influenced the formation of 414 Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLA) with about per cent of the beneficiaries being women.
He added that the REACH project had also introduced about 1,800 farmers to conservation agriculture, 42 farmer based organizations (FBOs) with about 1500 members of which 63 per cent were women as well as facilitated the formation of nature clubs in school in six districts and municipalities with membership of 180 of which 50 per cent were girls.
“We must raise awareness against the inherent biases against women in agriculture and take swift decisive actions to ensure equality. These should be intentional and continue even beyond the day of celebration”, Mr Berthold said.
Madam Charity Batuure, the Upper West Regional Director, Department of Gender, stressed the importance of gender balance to afford girls and young women the opportunity to lead at all levels of society.
“Let us support our women; they have the capabilities to also contribute to the development of our communities. To the school children, also take your studies very seriously to become a better person in the future to contribute to the development of your communities”, she explained.
Some of the participants, who benefited from the GIZ training on good agricultural practices, commended the GIZ for the support which had enabled them to improve on their agricultural activities.
Participants of the IWD event at the Gbetuori were from the Nandom and Jirapa municipalities and the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa and Nadowli-Kaleo District in the Upper West Region as well as the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District in the Savannah Region among others.