Wa, April 23, GNA – Queen Mothers in the Upper West Region have described the “Planting for food and jobs” policy of the government as laudable but somehow discriminatory against women.
The queen mothers were worried that at least five hectares or 12 acres of land that an individual should have before benefiting from the policy as highly discriminatory against women particularly women from Northern Ghana who do not own land.
Pognaa Mwinyelle Dakora, Queen Mother of Daffiama Traditional Area raised the concern on behalf of her colleagues during a five-day training course for traditional women leaders on leadership, community resource mobilisation and natural resource management in Wa.
Pognaa Dakora explained that the 50 per cent payment upfront for fertilizer was also discriminatory against women, saying “it would be highly impossible for women to get that kind of money to pay before accessing the fertilizer”.
Another issue the Queen Mother expressed worry about was the exclusion of groundnuts from the five selected crops which are maize, rice, soybean, sorghum and vegetables.
She argued that groundnuts was the major cash crop for women in Northern Ghana and that excluding the crop from the five selected crops amounted to excluding women from benefiting from the policy.
Pognaa Dakora was also worried about the aspect where beneficiaries of the policy would have to buy seed every planting season in order to plant, saying that practice apart from putting cost burden on beneficiaries was also detrimental to the promotion of traditional seeds.
She said the e-fertilizer distribution was equally problematic as many women farmers were not educated and would therefore not find it very easy to access the fertilizer.
The Queen Mother therefore proposed to government to reconsider the decision to include women in the policy since women played a key role in agricultural production in the country.
On the issue of the land and 50 per cent upfront payment, she appealed to government to make it three acres and 10 per cent upfront payment for women.
Mr Daniel Banuoku, Deputy Director of CIKOD said the training course was meant to build traditional women leader’s capacity to be able to discharge their duties effectively in local governance.
He said the objectives of the training was to facilitate discussions on areas such as the role of women leaders in facilitating the participation of women in the decentralisation process at the district and local levels and the promotion of the concept of protecting community resources and rural livelihoods.
Others include; natural resource management for sustainable rural livelihoods, Community Organisational Development (COD) for participation of communities in natural resource management and benefit sharing.
The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) in collaboration with the Wa campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) organised the workshop with sponsorship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
Participants were drawn from all 11 districts of the Upper West Region.