The government has been urged to support women farmers to help increase their production to create a robust agric sector in the country.
In Ghana, about 80 per cent of agricultural production comes from small-scale farmers, who are mostly women.
The Executive Director of AgriHouse Foundation, Mrs Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said these at this year’s Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards ceremony held in Ho.
The two-day programme, which was on the theme: “Women, Key Partners in shaping Agribusiness,” aimed at projecting, empowering women in agriculture, building the capacity of smallholder women and beginners in agribusinesses as well as women achievers in agriculture.
Mrs Akyaa noted that agriculture held the fortunes of the country’s economic transformation, job creation and sustained food security as it employed close to 45 per cent of the active population, majority of whom were women.
She reiterated that women had remarkably demonstrated their capability in marketing opportunities, and stressed that “the potential of women would remain a mirage if nothing was done to rapidly reverse the ‘unsung heroine’ status ascribed to our industrious women”.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, indicated that prior to the creation of the Oti Region out of the Volta Region, a total of 14,799 farmers participated in the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) out of which a total of 2,741 were women in 2017.
Similarly in 2018, a total number of 78,753 farmers participated in the programme out of which a total of 21,098 were women.
This, he said, showed an enormous increase in the number of women who participated in the PFJ since its introduction.
He said the government would continue to create the necessary environment and opportunities for all to participate in the sector in order to promote food security for future generations.
The Chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, Ghana (NFFAWAG), Mr Davies Korboe, urged all and sundry to rally behind women to make sure they became more successful in the agriculture space.
In a remark, the Chief Executive Director of Sidalco Group of Companies, Reverend Dr Gifty Lamptey, said women’s efforts must be recognised to encourage them to do more.
This, she said, would bridge the gender inequality gaps in the agric sector, thereby helping Ghana to achieve Gender Equality Goal Five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Gold in the Soil awards
The Director of Fosuah Food Chain, Madam Connie Nyador, a farmer and a seed grower, emerged as the overall winner of the maiden edition of the Gold in the Soil awards.
Ms Nyador who owns large plantation of food crops including yam, cassava and yam seed growing technologies in Central Tongu was awarded for her outstanding achievements in the agric sector.
Twelve other gallant women farmers in the region including the queenmother of Abutia Kloe were also awarded.