Men and women are the pillars of the development of every sector of the economy. To ensure faster economic growth and development, the government must therefore ensure gender responsiveness in the implementation of projects and activities in the country.
Assessing the 2021 Ghana’s budget, Send Ghana has called on the government to ensure gender-responsive during the implementation of the budget.
According to Mr. George Ose-Bimpeh, Country Director of Send Ghana, the role of both men and women contributing significantly to the growth of the agricultural sector especially the fishing industry cannot be overlooked. He said this during a press conference at Accra.
He explained that while some 500,000 affiliated workers are engaged in the processing, distribution, and marketing of fish (which are female-dominated), the sector employs some 135,000 fishers.
“Whereas access to outboard motors, fishing nets, etc. are of primary concern to men, access to improved ovens remains a challenge for women, with only about one percent of them using improved ovens for
processing” he added.
However, the Fisheries Input Support Scheme does not seem to prioritize the needs of women in the provision of inputs.
With specific challenges of men and women in the industry, the seeming lack of due consideration for both men and women in the budget of the ministry is worrying.
To tackle this issue the Government must therefore ensure gender responsiveness in the implementation of projects and activities of the ministry.
Mr. Osei-Bimpeh urged the government to give equal priority to Rearing for Food and Jobs as it was done for Planting for Food and Jobs.
“The continuous yearly allocation to Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) must be commended. However, the government should prioritize and provide clear budgetary allocation to Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) too.
Although the budget statement outlined key activities to be implemented in 2021 under the RFJ programme, the budget is silent on a dedicated expenditure line” he reiterated.
In the wake of climate change and uncertainties in crop yields, an alternative to improve incomes and sustain the livelihoods of crop farmers will be the rearing of small ruminants. In addition, the effective implementation of RFJ will improve the household nutrition of smallholder farmers.