Women urged to form farmer groups to access support

Jonga, (UW/R), March 22, GNA - Madam Safura Adams, Agricultural Extension Agent (AEA) at the Wa Municipal Department of Agriculture, has urged women farmers to form farmer groups to easily access support from the government and other organisations.

She said women farmers, particularly in the Upper West Region, were faced with the challenge of accessing tractor and other support services as compared to their male counterparts.

Madam Adams in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Jong in the Wa Municipality, on the side-lines of a training programme for women in rice processing said “When women are in groups it is easier for them to get the tractors. When they are in groups too, they are able to get support from the agriculture department than when they are individuals. So we always want them to be in groups so that if there is any support, we can offer them”, she explained.

She observed that one other challenge women farmers faced was inadequate time to work on their fields since they had to work on their husbands' farms before attending to their own farms.

She said when women farm in groups, they would be able to maximise the limited time to improve on their farming activities.

Madam Benedette Naab, the Wa Municipal Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD) Officer, said WIAD was training women in various economic activities such as rice processing as well as ways of improving the nutritional content of their food through the use of soybeans and orange fleshed sweet potato.

"We have realised that our women in the communities lack knowledge in some of these things, so we go out there to train them. We train them how to in-cooperate soybeans in their dishes to improve upon the nutrition.

“As the farming season is over we train them on soap making and other things that they can do to generate some income to support their families", she explained.

That, she said, was necessary because women bore the brunt of fending for the families, saying, "When there is hunger in the house it’s the women who suffer".

Madam Miari Yakubu, a farmer and leader of the Tuurosung Women Group at Jonga in the Wa Municipality, noted that access to tractor services and credit facility to farm was a challenge to them.
She said sometimes due to the financial difficulty, they were unable to access tractor services and to buy improved seeds to plant, and appealed to benevolent organisations to support them to farm and repay after they harvested the produce.

"We will be very happy, if we can get people to always support us with tractor, fertilizer and improved seeds, which are always our major challenge”, she said.

The Tuurosung Women Group is a 14-member group at Jonga in the Wa Municipality that engages in rice farming and processing.