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May 10, 2012

ECOWAS Gender Centre Donate to Rural Women Farmers in Ghana


The ECOWAS Gender Development Centre (EGDC) yesterday donated 30,000 US dollars to three rural women groups in Ghana who engage in agricultural production to assist them acquire materials and other logistics to support their farming activities.

Each of the groups, namely, the Wortikpo Women’s Farmers Group from the Volta Region, Otaapro Women’s Group in the Eastern Region and the Liero Widows group, Upper West Region, received 10,000 US dollars to purchase tractors for weeding, chemical spraying machines, cutlasses, hoes, wellington boots, shelling machines and raincoat, donkey plough and accessories, among others, to boost production. Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister for Women’s and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC), who facilitated the gesture through her Ministry, said rural women in households economic unit had been recognized as responsible for almost 70 per cent of household production and therefore food security in Ghana.

She explained further that within the agricultural sector, rural women undertake a wide range of activities relating to food production, processing and marketing, and that government would continue to promote the empowerment of such women to accelerate the alleviation of poverty.

She said international recognition had also been given to the importance of rural women in agriculture and their contribution to the reduction of hunger and poverty in every country, stressing that, challenges including difficulty of having access to technology, land, credit, extension services, markets, water and formal education had also been identified as problems faced by rural women framers.

Mrs Azumah-Mensah indicated that when women farmers were assisted with such offers, it serves as a potential for poverty and hunger eradication, sustainable development and accelerated progress towards achieving internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

She commended the ECOWAS Gender Centre for assisting the three groups, who engage mainly in the cultivation of groundnut, corn, yam, okro, pepper,  millet, as well as cassava farming and processing to improve their production tremendously.

She urged the women to utilize the funds effectively and efficiently, by strictly adhering to its intended purpose of acquiring the necessary materials and inputs required by individual groups.

Madam Aminatta Dibba, Director, EGDC, said the ECOWAS Gender Centre had placed the rural woman at the heart of its activities and had strived to reposition itself strategically to respond to the growing and emerging gender needs of women and men in all aspects of the social, political and economic development of the ECOWAS region.

She said in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day, the ECOWAS Gender had decided within the framework of the commitment of the ECOWAS leadership to move the Community from “an ECOWAS of State to an ECOWAS of people to assist three rural based women’s groups in Ghana to embark on empowerment programmes...”

She expressed the hope that the token amount would make a big difference in the economic advancement of the beneficiaries.

Representative of the beneficiaries, Madam Martha Dab thanked the donors for the support, saying that, it would bring much relief to rural farmers.

Source: GNA