The Centre for Women in Agriculture and Nutrition (CWAN) has called for the establishment of land banks to support rural women have access to arable lands for farming.
Making the call ahead of the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, CWAN said “we call for the establishment of land banks that can help rural women to have access to productive lands. There is also the need to establish mechanization centres targeting women farmers in the rural areas”.
According to the Executive Director of CWAN, Emmanuel W. Wullingdool, rural women were disadvantaged in the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic following the disruption in the supply chain of agriculture produce in which they play a leading role. Hence there is the need for remedial measures like a stimulus package help improve their conditions.
“Providing adequate and timely support to rural women is not only going to ensure food security in the country, but it is also smart economics. They have the potential to contribute greatly to overall economic development of the country,” it stressed.
This year’s celebration is under the theme “building rural women resilience in the wake of covid-19”.
The Centre commended the Government of Ghana for its efforts aimed at improving the lots of rural women through the Women in Agriculture Development of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and other policy interventions.
However, the Centre called for renewed attention to the plight of rural women particularly in this period of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the country heads to the polls in December, it urged political parties to ensure the inclusion of the challenges and concerns of rural women in their manifestoes.
The UN estimates that less than 20% of landholders worldwide are women. The UN further states that if women in rural areas had the same access to agricultural assets, education, and markets as men, agricultural production could be increased, and the number of hungry people reduced by 100-150 million. On access and ownership of land, the situation is not so different in Ghana especially in the Upper West Region where many women do not own land.
Majority of rural women are engaged in Agriculture but are confronted with serious challenges. Major issues of concern to rural women are issues of access and ownership of land, access to quality credit, access and use of certified seed and access to mechanization services among others.