The Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has organised a one-week national training workshop on Gender Action Learning Systems (GALS) for stakeholders within the agric sector.
The workshop, which was on the theme: “From Gender mainstreaming to gender transformation in Projects”, formed part of the empowerment process for women, men and the youth to take charge of their lives and to enhance productivity in the households.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the National Programme Coordinator for GASIP, Klutse Kudomor, said one major concern facing the development of agriculture in Ghana and the sub-region as a whole was gender empowerment in decision making at households and community levels including wealth creation and resource ownership.
He said the workshop was, therefore, to enhance gender transformation and equitable livelihoods.
He said the programme which was to sustainably reduce poverty in rural Ghana by increasing profitability and resilience to climate change of agribusiness and smallholder farmers, was being funded by a loan facility of $36 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
According to him, the programme was targeting smallholder farmers within the rice, maize and soya and vegetable value chains system since “ the smallholder farmers produce 90 per cent of the staple foods in Ghana.
“This implies that they are the main actors in maintaining food security in the country and, therefore, any investment in food value chains of the smallholder farmer will greatly impact on the food systems in Ghana,” he said.
Mr Kudomor said GASIP was designed to leverage the private resources and expertise in making the smallholder farmer competitive by increasing their efficiency and resilience to climate change through the provision of appropriate technology, rural infrastructure and gender tea formation including equal participation of women, youth and young adults.
He said in the last two years, GASIP has supported over 150,000 farmers with production inputs, training in good agricultural practices, climate change resilience, food safety and food quality, business operational excellence and food processing.
“GASIP has provided tractors, power tillers and handheld rice harvesters to 628 selected smallholder farmer organisations,” he added.
The participants were made up of traditional rulers, farmer-based organisations, regional and district directors of MoFA and civil society organisations.