The General Secretary of the Agricultural Workers Union, Edward Kareweh has called on government to put in place measures that address the challenges women in agriculture face.
He said for so long the role of women has been overlooked, although the success of the sector largely relies on them.
“Our women have the right to live a dignified life and that duty to make sure that they live that dignified life rests with the government and the policy maker.
“So when we accept that right, then we will now develop policies to fulfil it because it is our duty. But as it stands and given the discussions we are having, it means they are tangential, they stand on their own,” he added.
Mr Kareweh was speaking at this year’s Graphic Business – Stanbic Bank Business Breakfast Meeting in Accra, where policy makers and stakeholders have converged to deliberate on how Ghana can secure the economy using agriculture.
In Ghana, especially in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, a majority of women are engaged in agriculture, but they are not respected or given opportunities like their male counterparts.
They do not benefit from farm inputs, fertilizers, insecticides, machinery, credit facilities and information on modern farming practices their male counterparts have access to.
This gap is making it impossible for these women to become the thriving farmers they need to be, in order to pull out of poverty and give their children a better life.
Mr Kareweh is unimpressed with the development he believes government and policy makers can solve.
He said “The current policies are on their own, they are not meeting the needs of the people. That is why we are saying that we must begin to develop policies based on the rights of the people.”
He added that there is the need to calibrate policies in the sector to address those needs going forward, adding “that is when we can address successfully the challenges facing women and those who have the right to produce.”
Held on the theme “Securing the Economy with Agriculture”, discussions will be held on ways to make the sector attractive to the teeming unemployed youth to take up farming as a full or part time activity.
The meeting will also provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss the way to modernize the sector to improve productivity and achieve food security and profitability for farmers.