Mr. Suraj J. Borsutie, Upper West Regional President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has advocated the need for women to be given productive farmlands for cultivation to improve their economic status.
“Women are seen as very productive and could transform the economy of families, ensure food security and support the education of their children when given access to productive farmlands”.
Speaking with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tumu, Mr Borsutie, said the culture of some societies did not favour women as they were expected to help husbands on the farm rather than owning farms.
“It is a cultural belief that women should not farm but should support their husbands to farm”.
Though the government has taken initiatives to improve Ghana’s agricultural sector through the introduction of programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, women’s inability to have access to farmlands could stall the success of the programmes.
This fear had triggered multiple campaigns by individuals and NGOs including the BUSAC Fund to ensure that women had access to productive lands for agricultural activities.
Mr Borsutie expressed regret that in most cases, men only released unproductive land to women for farming, which adversely affect their output.
He called on landlords and men to give out productive lands to women for farm activities towards improving their economic status.
Some of the women farmers told the GNA that lack of access to mechanisation services and market for farm produce were some of the challenges they faced.
Madam Zinabu Samari, a farmer at Kupulima in the Sissala West District, noted that though women were benefiting from the PFJ programme, access to credit facilities could help improve their farming activities.
Zinabut who engages in soybeans, maize, and beans farming, said women were willing to farm but access to market remained a key impediment to them.
Another farmer at Nankpawie in the Sissala East District, Madam Laura Ibrahim, said she harvested five bags of soybeans last year but could not get market for them.
The women farmers, therefore, called on government and organisations to come to their aid in accessing ready market and credit facilities as well as mechanisation services.