- On October 7, 2019
While it is estimated that over 70 percent of women in Ghana are engaged in agriculture production, processing and marketing, very few women were registered for the government’s Planting for Food (PFJ) program during the 2017 farming season.
In the East Mampurusi District, women represented only 13 percent of the farmers who benefited from PFJ in 2017. The district’s farming community of Burugu had not a single woman registered to benefit.
This came to light during engagement with direct beneficiaries of PFJ in April 2018. The engagement took place at a community scorecard monitoring exercise conducted by SEND GHANA as part of the Northern Ghana Governance Project (NGG) and its lead CSO for East Mamprusi, the Presbyterian Agriculture Station (PAS).
Daniel Achiri, the CSO lead for East Mampurusi, formally wrote to the district director of agriculture to urge the department to register more women smallholder farmers as beneficiaries of PFJ for the 2018 farming season. “It is sad that we have a lot of women in the district who are into farming yet very few benefited as compared to the men in 2017 farming season. If we actually want to empower the women, then we have to properly target them to benefit from the services of the PFJ program, said Achiri.”
Upon subsequent engagements, the department of agriculture responded to Achiri’s call and deployed available staff to register farmers for PFJ, especially women.
Since then, there has been a significant increase in women registered for PFJ in the district. The number of women beneficiaries of the program in the district has risen from 150 in 2017 to 1,800 in 2018, representing an increase of 1,100 percent. The women subsequently accessed PFJs’ inputs and that contributed to increasing their yields for the 2018 crop season.
“At the recently held district interface meeting to assess the 2018 Planting for Food and Jobs programme using community score card, the women generally revealed they had good yields for the season”, Achiri revealed.
Photo credit: Presby Agric Station, Lambisi