The Women in Food and Agriculture Development (WIAD), in collaboration with Agrihouse Foundation and the National farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association Ghana (NNFAWAG), has launched the First Women in Food and Agriculture Conference Expo (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards.
The aim of WOFAGRIC is to provide a platform for women who have made great strides in agric to network, share risk management tools that will help set operations up for future success, and to award women for outstanding contributions.
MP, Osu Klottey Constituency and Chairperson for the launch event, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings said women produce about 80 percent of the world’s food but are not acknowledged for their great contribution.
“Given the fact that Ghana’s population is made up of more women than men, it means that we have to empower women or else we will not be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets set as a country.
“In addressing issues of women in agric as a country, we need to re-visit land tenure systems, access to credit, and education/ technical know-how as well as social and gender protection,” she said.
The main event is scheduled to take place in March, 2019 at Kumasi, to coincide with International Women’s Day.
According to organisers, the event will witness a gathering of women who play different roles in the agric value chain; institutions interested in empowering women; women entrepreneurs, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Sagre Bambangi, said the problems listed as facing women in the agricultural sector are the same as those facing the agriculture sector in general – which is an indication that the nation has not given the necessary attention to the agric sector.
He went further to state that President Nana Akufo-Addo has therefore prioritised the agriculture sector, as he sees it as the pivot of the economy.
“Government is putting in place measures to make available cheaper credit and machinery for women in agriculture who play key roles both on and off the farm,” he said.
According to WIAD, the role that women play in agriculture cannot be overemphasised; they form the backbone of rural economies in developing countries. It is estimated that women contribute about 43 percent to the world’s labour force, and even higher in certain jurisdictions.
This notwithstanding, there is under-representation when it comes to women and children in farm work in most population censuses. Some of these have been attributed to problems with definitions of economic activities and unemployment.
There is a need to recognise the role women play in agriculture, which will better inform their contribution and help address their challenges.