25 June 2012

Ghana: Gov't to Empower Women in Agric Sector

The government says it is committed to promoting and empowering women in the agricultural sector as a means of alleviating poverty in the country.

The government believes that the empowerment of women is regarded as a potential for poverty and hunger eradication, sustainable development and accelerated progress towards achieving internationally agreed development goals by 2015, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, Mrs. Juliana Azumah Mensah, gave the assurance at the launch of "Women Farmers Against Poverty in Ghana project," organised by the Women in Law Development in Africa (WILDAF) in Accra.

Mrs. Azumah Mensah noted that the project meant to contribute to reducing poverty among rural women, and empower them economically, socially and politically, which was very important to the growth of Ghana's economy.

She added the project was very critical and relevant, since the government regards the development of the agricultural and rural sectors as key components to the economic and sustainable development of the country.

She said it was for this reason that it had been recognised and acknowledged that rural women in household economic units are responsible for almost 70% of household production in the country.

"This project is very important, since the beneficiaries are mostly women farmers, and as well focuses on reducing poverty among rural women farmers, and therefore, deems the implementation of the project very relevant and important for the empowerment of rural women, who contribute to both national and local economies," she added.

On her part, the Director of Women in Agricultural Development of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mrs. Eunice Adams, indicated that in Ghana about 70% of women farmers are food crop farmers, who face a variety of constraints that limit their capacity to contribute to agricultural production.

She pointed out that the women farmers are challenged with limited access to key productive resources such as land, inputs such as improved seed, planting materials and agro chemicals, credit, labour information, technology and access to market, emphasising that they faced wage discrimination in rural markets, and were more likely to be in part-time, seasonal or low-paying jobs, and may often work without remuneration on family farms.

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