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Ghana: USAID trains women in agriculture

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Fifty women leaders in agriculture, District officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Civil Society Organisation drawn from the Upper East Region have ended a day’s capacity training programme on Gender and Agricultural Development Strategy held in Bolgatanga.

It was organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Feed the Future’s Northern Ghana Governance Activity, through the United States government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

The Training Programme was on the theme” Sensitisation on Gender and Agricultural Development Strategy 11 (GADS 11), To Enhance Women’s Participation in Local Governance and Increase Access to Agricultural Information and Opportunities”.

Speaking at the training session, the Chief of Party of the Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) project, Mr Michael Alandu explained that the major aim of the training programme was to increase participants’ knowledge on the GADS 11, Agriculture policy, the environment and the mandate of the Women in Agricultural Development.

The training programme forms part of the interventions being carried out in a five-year Northern Ghana Governance Activity project being implemented in 28 districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, funded by the USAID in Ghana.

Mr Alandu said in March this year, the project facilitated the formation and launched the Upper East Regional Women in Agriculture Platform in Bolgatanga to empower women in agriculture to effectively engage with stakeholders to help address their concerns.

The Chief of Party explained that as part of the Feed the Future programme, the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative, the Northern Ghana Governance Activity worked to fortify the coordination and integration of decentralised agricultural development and to promote responsive governance for improved agricultural development in Ghana.

He said the NGGA, which is being implemented with a Consortium of NGOs including CARE International Ghana, Action Aid Ghana, SEND Ghana and the West Africa Network for Peace-building (WANEP-Ghana), has among its goals to strengthen institutional capacity for effective coordination and integration of key actors in the decentralised process of agricultural development spanning from the regional to district level.

It is also to build an enabling environment for community organisations, CSOs and the private sector to participate as equal partners in decentralisation and agricultural development, enhance women’s participation in local governance and increase access to agricultural information and opportunities.

The Deputy Director of Women in Agricultural Development Directorate of MoFA, Ms Victoria Aniaku, who exposed the participants to the opportunities existing under the GADS 11, entreated the women farmers to form formidable groups to advocate opportunities due them from duty bearers.

She said the GADS 11 sought to create an enabling environment and responsiveness to gender equity in policy formulation, programming, budgeting, implementation and monitoring and evaluation that would provide opportunities and resources for an inclusive sustainable agricultural development.

She said the developed GADS 11 documents had made its provisions to address some of the major challenges confronting women farmers including the lack of access to credit and financial service, access to extension service delivery, access to new technology in agricultural, access to control over land, agro-input support, agricultural engineering services, livestock production and agribusiness among others.