Executive Di­rector of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyea says Ghana could sustain food security and boost the economy if women in Agrifood systems are provided the requisite support.

Women make up 43 percent of the global agricultural labour force. Agrifood systems are a major employer of women globally and constitute a more important source of livelihood for women than for men in many countries.

According to the status of women in agrifood systems report, the first of its kind since 2010 commissioned recently by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 36 per cent of working women are employed in agrifood systems, along with 38 per cent of working men.

However, women’s roles tend to be marginalized and their working conditions are likely to be worse than men.

The report added that, women also have less secure tenure over land, less access to credit and training, and have to work with technology designed for men.

Along with discrimination, these inequalities create a 24 per cent gender gap in productivity between women and men farmers on farms of equal size.

The report stated that improving Women’s equality in agrifood systems could boost the global economy by $1 trillion and reduce food insecurity by 45 million.

Speaking in Koforidua at the 5th Women in Food and Agricultural Leader Training Forum and 2023 Gold in the Soil Awards organised by Agrihouse Foundation in collaboration with World Food Programme, Global Affairs Can­ada and Yara Ghana, Executive Di­rector of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyea said addressing challenges facing Ghanaian female farmers and women in Agrifood systems in general is critical to food security in Ghana and achieving Sustainable Development Goals on zero hunger and poverty reduction.

The forum and awards, on the theme: “Overcoming Barriers of Women in Agribusiness: The Role of Stakeholders” awarded 13 women including those with disabilities in different categories, who have made significant strides Agrifood systems.

Madam Margaret Agyei received the Ultimate Gold in the Soil Award and was given a tricycle, farming equipment and agri-products.

The other winners included Naana Felicia Akyeamah who won the Passion for Farm Award, Change Champion Award; Mrs Dzidzinyo Fianu, Princess Carla Award; Enerstina Osei Tutu, Outstanding Woman in Exten­sion Services Award; Delali Esi Agyeman, Feed to Food Award; Lydia Gyebi Asare and Devel­opment Partners Award, Global Affairs Canada and World Food Programme.

The others were She-Oper­ates Award, Hajara Mohammed; She-innovates Award, Abigail Ghama; Climate Smart Award, Doris Opoku Hagan; Diamond in the Rough Award, Adwoa Agyeiwaa; Star Woman Agri­preneur Award, Faustina Mamle Nartey; and Royal Agro Award, Nana Obaapanin Konadu Kontie II.

They received equip­ment and machines to enable them improve their work for their benefit and for society.

The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, said Ghana is currently enjoying food security due to the contribution of women in the sector.

“Women make up more than half of Ghana’s agricultural labour force with many engaged in ploughing, planting seeds, har­vesting, processing foods, selling and cooking. If not for our wom­en, we will be very hungry in this country and so it is important to give them the maximum support to enable them thrive and I be­lieve will have significant impact on the nation,” he stated.

Nana Amoabemaa Gyasi, Queenmother of Akyem Asamamma who represented Okyehemaa encourage young women to engage in Agrifood systems to make a living.

The Director of Development and Head of Cooperation at Global Affairs Canada, Kathlyn Flunn-Dapaah, called on government to take women into greater consideration when implementing policies and programs in the agriculture sector to ensure they are empowered to actively take part for significant impact.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com/103.5FM/Kojo Ansah