Government urged to make accessibility of land easy for women farmers

Accra, Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) has called on government to make Land accessible to rural women farmers to enhance their productivity.

Prof Akua O. Britwum, an Associate Professor-University of Cape Coast and Member of NETRIGHT, said women farmers access, control and ownership of land pose a huge challenge to their farming activities and therefore the need for much importance to be attached to this plea.

Prof Britwum made the call at NETRIGHT’s 2017 end of year review of the status of women in Ghana on the theme: Strengthening the Voice of Women Farmers for Improved Livelihood.

She said women play critical role in food production and are also responsible for producing food for their families’ consumption.

But the rate at which government and traditional authorities are selling lands and husbands also denying their wives access to family lands; it would get to a time that it would be very difficult for land acquisition for agricultural development.

Prof Britwum advised that at least every district or region in the country should have a land bank that would be dedicated solely for cultivation, if not, the country would suffer a great deal as far as agriculture was concerned.

She said women comprise 52 per cent of the agricultural labour force in Ghana and contribute about 70 per cent of food crop production in the country but women reap minimal benefits from investments in the sector.

According to Prof Britwum the 2013 Progress Report by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture indicated that large proportions of the agricultural workforce are women, 52 per cent are illiterate and limited in capacity to access and adopt improved agricultural technologies, thus most of them are poor.

She said three bills; the Affirmative Action Bill, Land Bill and Property Right Bill would appear before parliament for passage and urged parliamentarians to take into consideration the woes of women, especially those in the rural areas and hasten the process.

She said this was important, as the Land Bill would give protection to peasant farmers, who are mostly rural women and also help increase their productivity.

She again urged government to concentrate on farm produce such plantain and cocoyam, among others, just as it does to cocoa and cashew and provide the needed support, education and technologies to the women to enable them to advance in crops production.

Source: Ghana News Agency