The agriculture sector of Ghana experienced “its lowest growth of 0.8 percent in more than two decades in 2011”. The share of the agriculture sector in total GDP had fallen from 29.8 percent in 2010 to 18.9 percent in 2016, though the country’s agricultural Terms of Trade, measured as a ratio of food and non-food price indices has been steady in the early 2000s, the 3rd Ghana Economic Update by the World Bank published in 2018, revealed.
The Government of Ghana in April 2017, launched a “friendly” social initiative christened Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs), an agricultural concept to address the declining growth of the country’s agricultural sector.
Women have been identified as the major contributors to Ghana’s agriculture sector ,”constituting over half the agricultural labour force and producing 70 per cent of the country’s food stock” a report by SEND Ghana has revealed.
Savannah region Women Farmers, a women farmers group has been constituted by the the Women’s Organizer of the New Patriotic Party in the region to support women farmers access farm inputs and services.
At least, some one thousand women in the seven constituencies in the region are enrolled on the scheme which derives its support from government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.
The women including teachers have been provided with support ranging from improved seedlings, fertilizer, and extension services. Maize and Cashew are among the crops cultivated by the farmers.
“Women can join farming and with the skills we use in managing the home, we can even farm better than the men”, president of the Savannah region Women Farmers Madam. Safia Mohammed told ZAMI Reports.
While on a regular farm visit to women owned farms in the Yapei-Kusawgu constituency, Madam Safia Mohammed said she has reposed some confident in women in the region thus believe with a support system such as the PFJs, they could become self-sufficient.
“I follow up to monitor the activities of the women and the technical team, ensuring that the women are guided on their farms”.
Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in Ghana, employing 55 percent of the workforce and producing 45 percent of the GDP. Approximately 70 percent of the rural population depends on agricultural activities as a source of income.
The subsistence agriculture sector accounts for 36 percent of agricultural GDP and employs 60 percent of the total workforce according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
However, draught and lack of best practices continue to mitigate against the efforts by women in agriculture in northern Ghana. But with the support provided so far, Madam Safia Mohammed envisions an increase in harvest.
“I know there will be an increase in enrollment in the next farming season”, Ghana could meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2, which enjoins all countries to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
Zubaida Afua Mabuno Ismail|www.zamireports.com|N/R