Rural women in farming, food processing, post-harvest fish processing and advocacy in the country have expressed worry over the recent hike in premix fuel and agricultural inputs, indicating that the hike was affecting their business negatively.
Madam Emelia Larbi , a rural farmer and member of Development Action Association (DAA), a network of farmer-based organisation on improving the livelihood of its members through capacity building, who spoke on their behalf, said the situation if not addressed could kick a lot of the women farmers and fisher folks out of business.
“We are pleading with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture to come to our aid. Initially, the fuel and agricultural input were not readily available and we thank government for making them available. However it has become expensive and costing us dearly,” she stated.
The rural women made this known during this year’s World Rural Women’s Day (WRWD) celebration organized by the Israel Embassy in collaboration with the GIZ Agribiz, Yara Fertilizer, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the DAA.
The day which brought together women farmer groups and fish processors from the Greater Accra Region, Volta, Eastern and other parts of the country, was celebrated annually to obtain recognition and support for the multiple roles that rural women played, including indigenous women who were mostly farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
Held on the theme “Rural Women Using Technology to Provide Improved Food for All,” the occasion was used to highlight the important role rural women play in using technology to ensure the availability of hygienically processed food all year round.
Madam Larbi said it was important for them to use the occasion to create awareness of the challenges affecting rural women farmers and fishers in the production value chain, to enable government to come to their aid.
“We are pleading that government subsidise these agricultural inputs and premix fuel so that we will not spend so much money on them and would be able to sustain our business.
The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Shlomit Sufa, congratulated the rural women for the significant role they play in enhancing agricultural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty in the country.
For his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong, in a speech read on his behalf by the Eastern Regional Agricultural Director, Mr Henry Crenstil, called on the farmers to desist from giving their farms and arable lands to illegal miners in the quest of getting quick money.
He said agriculture was the real gold and urged farmers and Ghanaians to focus their energies into it.
After the celebration, the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana inaugurated the Cassava Processing Pavilion with 3 locally produced cassava processors, a pressing machine and roasting area and store room.