pWomen in Agriculture Development Directorate (WIAD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Thursday exhibited Ghana made food products with a call on women to shun chauvinism and reach higher heights.
The exhibits included processed and nicely packaged brown rice, millet, coconut and palm kenel oil, zwowee/dokoa, organic palm soup extract, sweet potato buns, groundnut cake and palm oil.
Mr Robert Patrick Ankobeah, Chief Director of MOFA who made the call said, women should take advantage of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) age to find innovative ways of meeting the demands of consumers and ignore chauvinistic attitude.
Mr Ankobeah, who was the guest at the exhibition encouraged the women to think equal, be smart and innovative to achieve their aim by also contributing to the economic development of Ghana.
It was held to commemorate the International World Women’s Day that falls on March 8, every year was under the theme, ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’.
He said food processing had become viable and it was high time women, especially, took advantage of that to invest in that area to enable them to be economically empowered.
After 62 years of Ghana’s independence, it was a good time to explore that sector to help boost the local economy by eating what Ghana grows, the Chief Director noted.
Mr Ankobeah commended WIAD for training more women in that regard on how to focus on nutrition, food safety and food handling in the course of food processing.
“I commend you for ensuring mainstreaming of gender concerns in policies and programmes of the ministry by developing strategy to serve as a guide to the directorate of the ministry on how to handle gender sensitive issues,” Mr Ankobeah said.
He expressed displeasure about the low number of extension female officers in the ministry and said 2,700 more female extension agents would be recruited because they were more likely to be effective compared to their male counterparts.
Female extension agents would easily relate with their fellow women and share information better than the men thus, the need to employ more women to impact knowledge, he added.
He stated that the majority of the newly recruits would be working at the district levels.
Mr Ankobeah urged all women to take part in the World Women’s Day celebration and demand their “pound of flesh” to be accorded the needed respect.
The Chief Director of MOFA advised men to celebrate women because they were their wives, sisters, daughters, mothers to give meaning to the celebration.
“Women would feel celebrated if more men took part in the celebration and more importantly, to encourage additional women in the agricultural sector,” he said.
Ms Paulina Addy, Acting Director of WIAD said as part of the Women’s Day WIAD seeks to empower people on their operations, among things within the agriculture space.
The women were taught various food names, how they were prepared as well as the business prospects, she said.
The Acting Director explained that WIAD’s thematic areas were nutrition, food safety; processing, marketing, urban and peri-urban agriculture producers, value addition to agriculture produce and gender mainstreaming.
Ms Addy said it was also an opportunity to show the achievements of the women and their collaborators.
The exhibition brought together stakeholders including staff, representatives from GIZ, Canada, crop services providers, engineering, extension services and veterinary services. GNA