Rural women farmers and traders in the Bono East Region have called on authorities to ensure standardization in the sale and purchase of traditional produce at the farm gates.
According to the women, the absence of standard scales, weights and measuring instruments for maize and other farm produce at the farm gate, and in the markets are leading to women farmers being short-changed by buyers.
They called on the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) to as a matter of urgency, introduce standard measuring scales to safeguard rural women farmers and traders interest and enable them to stay competitive in business.
In a training and advocacy programme organised by the Farmers Organization Network in Ghana (FONG), in collaboration with German Rural Women Association, under the theme: ‘Operationalizing the use of standard scale, weights and measure in the sale and purchase of farm produce’, the women vehemently expressed dissatisfaction with the status quo.
They submitted that farmers are being cheated as farm produce are purchased at low prices, especially maize due to non-use of standard scales. “Big sacks are used for the purchase of maize, the sacks are filled until they over flow and much of the maize pours on the floor which is added to that of the buyer,” they noted.
As if that is not enough, the buyer at the same time determines the price of the produce instead of the seller. “This cheating must stop,” they said.
Project Coordinator of the German Rural Women Project, Gladys Serwaa Adusah, indicated that women form majority of the Agricultural workforce, toil day and night and process and make sure they put the food on tables but their efforts are not being appreciated.
FONG president, Dr. King-David Amoah congratulated the rural women gathered and encouraged them to continue their good work. He reiterated that FONG is working hard to lobby government for good agricultural policies and other incentives for the rural women.
The Bono East Deputy Regional Minister, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah, in a speech, advised all to take advantage of the planting for food and jobs programme by government and visit the various districts and municipal department of agricultural offices throughout the country for seedlings such as oil palm, coconuts cashew, cocoa. He also promised to channel their challenges to the appropriate authorities.
The chiefs and queen mothers at the local communities in the district and regional level pledged their support to advocate/ campaign to achieve desired results.
The training and advocacy workshop, was to mark World Rural Women Day, which recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women including indigenous women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
Women group present were: Fish Mongers and Processors from Takoradi, Methodist Women Fellowship, Pentecost Women Fellowship (Dorcas), Seventh Day Adventists(SDA) Women, Christ Apostolic Church Women, Presbyterian Church Women, women in Media.