The Deputy Minister of food and Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo, has advised the Ghana Association of Female Agricultural and Fish Farmers Award Winners (GAFAFAW) to register members of the association as aggregators for the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative.
The deputy minister made this suggestion during the official inauguration of GAFAFAW in Accra.
Enumerating the benefits that the association could derive if members register as aggregators, he said that the women would be able to keep all inputs given them as aggregators to themselves. “Since you have such an association and being farmers and entrepreneurs, the ministry has created an opportunity for all. Therefore, after registering, you get to benefit from all inputs and profit meant for aggregators, which will go a long way to influence the livelihood of women,” he indicated.
He further encouraged the women to have a strong commitment, which will lead to a sustainable agriculture and fish farming.
“There are definitely going to be challenges which are bound to happen, and even though these challenges may stand in our way, we must perceive them as opportunities that provide the pathway to our ultimate growth, success and resilience,” Mr. Addo added.
Chairperson for GAFAFAW, Ernestina Osei-Tutu, in her welcome address during the launch, also indicated the association’s readiness to play a critical role in ensuring food security in the country.
Mrs. Osei-Tutu, however, expressed displeasure at how women are sidelined when it comes to agriculture, saying: “We all know that women participation in agriculture policy processes as well as in high value activities along the agriculture value chain is usually low. We cannot continue to push women out of these activities if the nation wants to see a bigger improvement in the sector”.
“There is ample research that shows that empowering women, specifically improving their ability to make independent choices regarding agricultural production, has a statistically significant positive association with changes in productivity, efficiency as well as technically. Therefore, we need to encourage and create opportunities that will enhance women’s voices in the sector,” she emphasised.
The Ghana Association of Female Agricultural and Fish Farming Award Winners, is a twenty-member association which consists of all twenty award-winning female farmers from all sixteen regions of the country.
The aim of the association is to champion the cause of women in the agricultural sector by providing a platform for networking, skills-sharing and mentorship for members.