Arigu — Household food security and improved nutritional status of women and children in Northern Ghana could receive major boost if smallholder women farmers are given fertile lands to farm, the traditional ruler of Arigu in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region, Naa Mbah Jacob Kanoni IV, has observed.
The traditional ruler made the observation during a stakeholder engagement forum on Women Access to Productive Land within the White Volta Basin.
It was held at Arigu on Saturday.
The forum came about as result of a research conducted by the Tikarinongo Cooperative Farming and Marketing Union (TICOFAMU) at the Tikarinongu community, one of the communities in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region.
The findings revealed that most of the fertile farmlands were owned and controlled by the male family heads of the various communities, thereby forcing many of the women to resort to farming activities at the buffer zones of the White Volta Basin causing siltation to the White Volta Basin.
Funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and its development partners DANIDA, USAID and the European Union, the research also attributed the low household food security and the poor nutritional status of most women and children in Northern Ghana to the smallholder women farmers' inability to access productive lands.
Naa Kanoni called for a paradigm shift for husbands to release fertile lands for the smallholder women farmers, stating that; "women are the best managers when it comes to farming and help contribute significantly to food security when given the opportunity."
Naa Kanoni who commended the sponsors for the project and noted that farming was the major occupation for the community and pledged the traditional council's support to ensure that more smallholder women farmers' in the area gained access to productive land.
Mr Sebil Debey Allan Burns, one of the team members of the research team, who facilitated the stakeholders engagement forum, admonished the smallholder women farmers' to be humble and to show respect towards their husbands and community members so as to win their confidence to enable them gain access to productive lands.
The secretary of the TICOFAMU, Mr James Adocta Agandaa, who mentioned advocacy training, research and sensitisation through the media and the stakeholder engagement forum, as part of the implementation stages of the project, told the stakeholders that a dialogue forum would be held as a climax of the project to ensure that all the stakeholders are committed to ensuring that smallholder women farmers' gain access to productive lands.