The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has announced a US$50,000 support package for women-farmer groups in two selected regions — Brong-Ahafo and Northern, to increase food production.
Mr. George Ortsin, the National Programme Co-ordinator, said the intervention was meant to fight rural poverty and boost food security.
A Ghana News Agency (GNA) report said he announced this at a durbar held at Bipoa, a farming community in the Sekyere West District, to celebrate this year’s “International day of rural women”.
The event was organised to recognise the tremendous contribution of women to the nation’s agriculture.
It brought together farmers from across the 10 regions and the theme chosen was, “The international year of soil and women access, use and control of land”.
Mr. Ortsin spoke of the need for the adoption of improved farming technologies to raise crop yield and returns.
That, he said, was the way to empower rural women, of which 70 per cent are into farming, to boost household incomes.
Mr. Ortsin expressed discomfort with their lack of access to agricultural credit and land and said that must change.
He noted that despite the important part they played in the value chain, women received just about one per cent of agricultural loans and owned only about two per cent of agricultural land and said this could not be fair.
Mr. Ortsin recommended the promotion of farming practices that tended to preserve soil nutrients to maintain soil fertility and said that was vital for the reduction of extreme hunger and poverty.
He appealed for increased assistance to smallholder women farmers to transform their living conditions.
Mr. Sabastian Wisdom Brahene, a soil scientist and consultant working with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), encouraged best cultural practices on the farm to increase yield.