Let the Budget focus on Gender Needs – GTLC tells Government

Bolgatanga(UE) Mr Ibrahim Akalbila , the Coordinator of Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) has called on government to make the 2019 budget more gender responsive to the needs and aspirations of all categories of persons in the country.

The GTLC is a trade, agricultural advocacy and research organization.

Mr Akalbila made the call in an interview with journalists in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region after a training workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting, Role of the Media in the Transformational Agenda for Inclusive Development.

Mr Akalbila said farmers’ access to inputs under the current agricultural policy namely; Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs), One Village, One Dam, One District One Factory as well as other government agricultural interventions over the years, had not focused on mainstreaming activities and actions to ensure all categories of people including the vulnerable, had equal opportunities.

Sharing a field data on how the new interventions were addressing different needs of the people from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions, he said gender gaps identified had dire effect on agricultural productivity and indicated that farmers’ access to fertilizer, seeds and the coupon system under the PFJs programme as well as extension services, affected participation of all categories of farmers.

Mr Akalbila said using baseline, since the Medium Term Development Plans (MTDP) were developed in 2008, the GTLC approach of an evidence based monitoring, had over the years assessed government interventions on agriculture and noted that efforts at improving productivity had not met the desired expectation.

He urged government to be gender responsive in its budgeting and focus investments and actions that would give equal opportunities to men, women and youth.

He reiterated the important role of women in agriculture and said challenges faced by them in accessing tractor services, and other equipment to facilitate sowing and harvesting of produce led to post harvest losses.

As Ghanaians, what we need is improved productivity and food security and therefore the budget is one tool that can respond to the needs of different categories of farmers, he stressed.

Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, the Policy Officer of GTLC, said there was a growing poverty in communities despite improving statistics of the Ghanaian economy and said the GTLC with support from Oxfam was working to ensure improved livelihoods.

Source: Ghana News Agency