Professor Amin Alhassan, Dean of the Faculty of Agri-business and Communication Science at the University for Development Studies (UDS), has stated that only six per cent of women have access to formal sector loans for agricultural purposes.
He also said the level of input utilisation is very low among rural women-farmers, especially in the Northern Region.
Professor Alhassan stated these at a day’s policy dialogue, which focused on special needs and interests of women-farmers in agricultural development organised by the Rural Media Network (RUMNET), a non-governmental organisation in Tamale.
The workshop was to peek into excerpts of the research outcomes and clarify problems faced by rural women-farmers, look at policy options and strategies, and discuss how to incorporate them into subsequent policies.
Professor Alhassan said women were less likely to use or have access to farm inputs such as good land for farming, tractor service, improved seeds, organic fertiliser and pesticides in the North, which were affecting their production.
He said this translated into serious limitations on the development of women farmers in the north, and urged the government and other stakeholders to put in place measures to reverse the trend
Mr. Abdallah Kassim, Executive Director of RUMNET said women played important roles in their communities as well as in the national economy but were unable to unleash their full potentials due to various constraints.
He mentioned that most of the challenges that the rural women-farmers faced included financing, marketing, agricultural research and technology development, agricultural education and extension, rural organisation and communication.
He called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to adopt inclusive policy processes that were responsive to the special needs of rural women-farmers in agricultural development.
RUMNET is a non-governmental organi-sation that was established 21 years ago. It uses strategic communication to address various development issues in the northern part of the country.