The Canadian High Commission has noted that its partnerships with the Government of Ghana (GoG) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) like Agrihouse Foundation is increasing empowerment and self-reliance among Ghanaian women in the agricultural sector.
According to the Commission, through the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) project, of which the GoG and Agrihouse are beneficiaries, women farmers in the country are demonstrating higher levels of financial autonomy, and are now being able to buy lands, add rooms to their homes, purchase agro-processing machines, expand their agro-processing activities and pay school fees for their children.
“Canada is also supporting women farmer-based organizations across Ghana to develop or improve their ability to process and package their agricultural commodities to attract higher value markets and make profit from the sale of their products,” she revealed.
The Deputy Director, Development, of the Commission, Ms. Stephanie Brunet made these known in her address at the launch of the 3rd Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Training Forum & Gold in the Soil Awards (WOFAGRIC), held in Accra last week Tuesday.
The Deputy Director, Development, noted that through MAG, Canada has been providing support to Ghana’s agricultural sector since 2017.
She said a big focus of the MAG project has been to understand the specific needs of women farmers and to ensure that both female and male farmers are receiving the appropriate extension services to help them improve both their yields and their incomes.
“This is in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance policy and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality,” she noted.
She added, Canada recognises that the agriculture sector holds great potential for reducing poverty and inequality in Ghana, and that is why it provides 125 million Canadian dollars of assistance directly to the Government to help modernize the sector.
“The MAG project is now in the fifth year of implementation and I am glad to note that tremendous successes are being recorded. These include increases in the adoption of relevant, productivity-enhancing technologies by both female and male farmers in Ghana, the introduction of new market-oriented approaches to farm management, improvements in major crops and many more,” she said.
Ms. Brunet, however, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has potential to erode these gains and particularly, see women regress deeper into poverty, “That is why building resilience is very crucial” she stressed.
She therefore praised Agrihouse Foundation for creating the WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards that continuous to enable women develop their agricultural skills, motivate and provide mentorship, and build upon their capabilities to becoming independent.
“The theme for this year’s event, “Surviving, Thriving and Making Waves beyond the Pandemic,” could not be more appropriate, in view of the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural value chains, particularly for women farmers,” she noted.
According to her, Canada is proud to have supported the Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training and the Gold in the Soil Award in 2019 and 2020, and is therefore looking forward to working with Agrihouse Foundation on this year’s event, to be held in the Upper East Region in June.
“We strongly believe that women are critical to the sustainability of Ghana’s agriculture and that successful women farmers deserved to be recognized for their achievement and contributions to the nation,”
Nomination links are currently active for the Gold in the Soil Awards on all social media pages of Agrihouse Foundation.