Over the years, agriculture has been a source of employment and revenue for about 60% of Ghana’s population; where women who constitute over 51% of the country’s population play what is termed as “silent” but active role in agriculture value chain activities.
USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID FinGAP) has been contributing in driving Ghana’s sustainable economic growth and in a collaboration with MEL Consulting Limited organized a maiden summit for women in Agribusiness development.
And in view of this, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, (MoGCSP), Otiko Afisa Djaba has charged women leadership in the country particularly those into local businesses and agribusinesses to encourage women into doing businesses within the agriculture value chain.
According to her, it is unfortunate that we see some of our women and girls engaging in prostitutions, early and forced marriages, “kayayie” amongst others, instead of channeling their efforts into productive ventures like agribusinesses.
She further submitted that the Agriculture sector contributes about 54% of Ghana’s GDP and accounts for over 40% of export earnings. And in order to sustain these gains, Government has increased the budgetary allocation to the sector from GHC 572 million in 2017 to GHC 599 million in 2018.
Government has also given out GHC 52 million as part of start-ups under the Business Development Ministry, GHC 1 billion allocated for Special Development Initiatives, GHC 38 million for Employment and Labour Relations Ministry.
The Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) is also providing micro and small loans as start-ups for small businesses to grow and expand their businesses.
Other available initiatives to augment the efforts of farmers are the subsidized fertilizers, agro-chemicals and improved seeds.
“You must encourage other young women of Ghana to venture into agriculture to better their lives rather than engaging in kayayie, prostitution, early and forced marriages or going beyond borders of Ghana for non-existing jobs, the Minister retorted.
Also gracing the occasion was the first female to have emerged as the first runner-up of the just ended 33rd National Farmers’ Day celebration in Kumasi, Mabel Akoto Cudjoe admonished participants and women in the agribusinesses and all other businesses to make education an integral part of their works
And that she been able to rise to such level of owning a huge rice farm in the Volta called Okata Farms and employed over 6, 000 workers due to reliance on education and the willingness to learn aside being an agronomist.
Ghana |Atinkaonline.com |Patrick Ofoe Nudzi