Madam Janet Adade, President of Madomise Women Farmers Association, has appealed to stakeholders especially the government to support women rice farmers to enable them add value to their produce.
She said most women, although with the requisite knowledge in adding values to their harvest, lacked the required equipment or machinery.
Madam Adade speaking at the 2020 celebration of Rural Women’s Day in Likpe in the Oti region said “the absence of tools made women farmers suffer. Rural women everywhere also face gender-related constraints that limit their access to decent work as well as their productivity.”
The government should come in and help us, the women are strong and ready. We are appealing that they should hear us.
After harvesting, a lot of aggregators were coming from other regions to buy our pudding, meanwhile we have been trained to do processing but there are no processing machines.”
She appealed to the government and stakeholders to help the women with rice processing machines especially the rice mill that had the destoner, polisher and other components.
“Enhancement of women’s productive capacity depends on better access to decent jobs and control over productive resources.
If they are given the opportunity to realise their full potentials, all stand to benefit.”
Madam Adade encouraged women to form groups in order to gain more insights into their activities and also benefit from interventions from government and benevolent groups.
The celebration was themed: “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19.” Madam Sandra Ofori, Hohoe Municipal Agriculture Director, said rural women kept to the well-being of their families and communities and sustaining society and the economy.
“We call for action to ensure that all rural women can live and work in dignity. Rural women are a critical force in agriculture and food systems worldwide in addition to their house chores.”
She noted that women had less access to resources, assets and opportunities and often encountered barriers in becoming members of rural organisations and policy institutions and the coronavirus pandemic had affected them with movement restrictions, closure of market and distraction of supply chains.
“The pandemic has also heightened the vulnerability of rural women’s right to land and resources. Despite all these challenges, they have been at the forefront of responding to the pandemic through provision of facemasks, detergents which help to close the want gap.”
Madam Ofori said helping rural women through the pandemic and building their resilience for the future required support and solidarity and added that “together we must invest in rural women so that they have access to healthcare, social protection and agricultural information services they need.”
Mr Andrews Teddy Ofori, Hohoe Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said the role of rural women in the growth of society and child development could be underestimated.
He noted that lives of most women were transformed under government’s flagship programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs.
The MCE called on rural women not to relent on their efforts and also ensure that they fully participated in any government’s programmes aimed at improving their lives.
Mrs Doris Otuka Gaba, Director of Operations, Ghana School Feeding Programme, urged the government to extend its social interventions in the wake of the pandemic to rural women including; deliberate policies targeted at the women.
She noted that most of the women were badly affected during the lockdown and free supplies of fertilizers, seedlings and cash transfers to boost their efforts would be appropriate.
Mr Solomon Donkor, Volta and Oti Regional Managing Director, COCOBOD, who supported the women group with GHC1,000, urged women cocoa farmers to liaise with COCOBOD offices to enable them register and enjoy various government interventions.
ELSJYNE Enterprise in collaboration with Madomise Women Farmers Association and VOLTI Women Farmers and Processors Association organised the event.