West Africa Regional Director of Yara International, Danquah Addo Yobo, has called for the empowerment of women to thrive in the business of agriculture.
He said men dominated the management of agriculture but women dominated the janitorial ranks such as farmhands in the value chain, adding “these women if given the needed support could do more for themselves and the nation at large”.
He said this when Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director, Agrihouse Foundation, and some officials, paid a courtesy call on Yara Ghana to present a report on this year’s edition of its annual event “Pre-Harvest Conference and Exhibition,” held in the Northern Region.
Speaking on the report, he said 901 females participated in the two-day event, saying it was ample evidence of the level of interest women had in agribusiness and must be encouraged to grow in the numbers.
He said Yara Ghana had empowered women over the years in the agriculture sector by giving awards and support to women farmers with capacity building programmes.
He cited Madam Eva Osei, a maize farmer in Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region who increased her yield tremendously as a result of Yara Ghana’s support for women farm groups in the community, adding that stories of other successful women in the sector should be told to serve as a motivation to others.
He urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to send more extension officers to smallholder farms to build the capacity of women farmers, to observe better farming practices and attend to their needs.
He said special financial support schemes should be created for women agro-dealers to access funding when they met the needed criteria; sections of National Agricultural related programmes should be dedicated to encouraging women in Agribusiness.
“I look forward to seeing women win Best farmer Awards at all levels, even the ultimate, National Best Farmer Award,” he said.
Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa said this year’s event recorded 1979 farmers in attendance and participation in all sections of the two days event was successful.
She said the Foundation was supporting recognized widow farm groups to improve their yields.
She said as part of its Women in Food and Agricultural (WOFAGRIC) projects it had visited farms across 43 districts and had observed some challenges of which were been attended to.
She thanked Yara Ghana for supporting Agrichouse over the past ten years since the inception of the Pre-Harvest event.