The Executive Director for the Savanna International Development Aid, Hajia Halima Sagito Saeed has expressed the hope that there’s more hope for women in agriculture since women fall within the whole food value chain within the sector.
Hajia Halima Sagito Saeed who is a member of the Women in Agriculture Development, WIAD and Africa Lead disclosed in an interview with Rite News that women could still achieve more if they are empowered to build their capacities.
“Women are an integral part of the value food chain since they fall within each stage of the process…” she asserted. “…all that is needed now is to empower women and build their capabilities especially since the current government has a lot of policies for the sector.”
Despite the critical role women play in agricultural development their access to extension and rural advisory services delivery is limited.
In Ghana, especially in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, a majority of women are engaged in agriculture, but they are not respected or given opportunities like their male counterparts.
They do not benefit from farm inputs, fertilizers, insecticides, machinery, credit facilities and information on modern farming practices their male counterparts have access to.
This gap is making it impossible for these women to become the thriving farmers they need to be, in order to pull out of poverty and give their children a better life.
According to the Executive Director, such challenges which are seriously hindering the successful exploitation of the sector by the country’s women also include land acquisition.
“Aside the aforementioned challenges, acquisition of land is one major factor that is hindering women from venturing into the sector,” she averred.
Her appeal therefore was to land owners and traditional leaders to lease lands for women desirous of venturing into the sector, since Agriculture has more prospects for women.
Madam Halima was however particularly worried about the lack of fund availability for women in or wishing to go into the agric sector, saying that “another challenge for women in agriculture is the lack of funds to expand their businesses.”
She further pushed for more aid for women since they fall within all the value chain in agriculture which makes assisting them is a major priority.
According to her, the Savanna International Development Aid in collaboration with the Africa Lead is training women on financial literacy. The programme dubbed ‘community savings’ aims at serving as an internal source of funds/loans for women in agribusiness.
While she observed that financial challenge remains very key in farming and most women in agric need assistance to expand their activities, she nevertheless believed that the savings scheme remains an internally generated income for women in agric and in the community on which they can easily fall for loans with adequate repayment plans.
Madam Halima also added that the Savanna International Development Aid has so far reached out to over 4,000 women in agriculture and still reaching out to more.
Source: Joyce Bedeleyfirstname.lastname@example.org