Former minister for Food and Agriculture as well as New Patriotic Party flagbearer hopeful, Dr. Afriyie Akoto has urged the government and all relevant stakeholders to invest in women participation in agriculture.
He spoke at the Vikings Alumni Celebrity Platform Lecture at the Cedi Conference Center on Friday July 21, 2023 under the theme, ‘Exploiting Agricultural Diversification to Fund Economic Development in Ghana.’
Dr. Afriyie Akoto described the participation of women in agriculture as very pivotal to the agricultural economy as their contribution amounts to seventy percent of food production in Ghana.
He mentioned that it is imperative for the government to focus on matters concerning women in agriculture and invest in their development.
“Invest in women in agriculture…… the national, continental and global goal to achieve equality, equity and inclusion of all women is a critical step for the economic empowerment for Ghanaian women in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture. The inclusion of women in agriculture, which is the role of providing labour for weeding, planting, harvesting, processing and marketing, accounts for up to seventy per cent of food production across the continent and in the case of Ghana there is seventy per cent of food production.”
He also spoke of the challenges that women tend to face in agriculture.
“Yet many women across the continent involved in farming are faced with issues of illiteracy, lack of knowledge and appreciation of technology, land acquisition and ownership issues among others. It is important for the government to prioritize these issues and invest in women,” he added.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto spoke of some commodity institutions in the actualisation process, citing the Grain Development Authority as a prominent example.
He expounded that the institution will be instrumental in the formalization of the production of some key grains such as maize and paddy rice that have been conducted in the informal sector over the years.
“There are quite a few authorities that are in the pipeline. The Grain Developing Authority is one of them. The ministry prepared a proposal for cabinet approval and the bill has since been submitted to Ghana’s parliament for the establishment of the Grain Development Authority. This bill seeks to amend the Grain Development Authority law of 1970 act 324, the grain development authority will be regulatory body for the grain sub sector responsible for research and development, production, marketing and export.”
The institution’s functions would include making necessary interventions in the poultry industry to enhance local production among many others.
“Another key role of the incoming grain development authority is to make all necessary interventions in the poultry industry to enhance local production and cost as well as protect the local industry. The GDA will purchase grains at the time of the harvest when prices are low, store the grains and release them to the poultry farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain in times of high prices.”
Story by | Esther Esenam Ofori | univers.ug.edu.gh