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Transforming african agricultural innovation role of women farmers

Transforming african agricultural innovation role of women farmers






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    Transforming african agricultural innovation role of women farmers Transforming african agricultural innovation role of women farmers Presentation Transcript

    • 7/15/2013 6TH AFRICAN AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE WEEK THEME: “AFRICA FEEDING AFRICA THROUGH AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND INNOVATION” Empowerment of Women and Youth for Improved Productivity, Competitiveness and Resilience of African agriculture BY LYDIA SASU Venue Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana Date 15th July, 2013
    • Transforming African agricultural innovation : Role of women farmers SUCCESS STORIES FROM THE FIELD 7/15/2013
    • 7/15/2013
    • Introduction  Since time immemorial, women have had to innovate. They have always found new solutions to the problems they face so as to ensure the survival of humanity. Rural women have had to confront countless challenges, and their success lies in their ability to overcome substantial obstacles. Positive outcome relies on their creativity and determination.  Today, humanity is facing two major challenges: increase in the world’s population, meaning more mouths to feed, and the effects of climate change. Rural women are major participants in the struggle to deal with these challenges; they are at the heart of the solutions to these problems, through their direct involvement on the ground. 7/15/2013
    • Introduction Continued Rural women are the main producers of food in countries stricken by famine and malnutrition. Women are the source of 80% of food produced in these countries (source: FAO). It is fundamental that innovative solutions be found in these countries.  In terms of climate change, rural women offer solutions. Agricultural practices and positive contributions through the stewardship of nature, can contribute to counteracting the effects of climate change.  All these innovations deserve support and accompaniment. The solutions that have been found should not be undermined; on the contrary, the sustainable development of rural environments requires support in the form of large-scale investment in innovation. Better structural and financial support mechanisms are required to promote the innovative efforts being undertaken by rural women. A new approach is therefore essential – it will determine the scope and degree of success of all these efforts. 7/15/2013
    • Rural Women in Agriculture in Ghana  Agriculture remains the main source of livelihoods for about 52% of the population and 70% of rural populations. The majority of rural Ghanaians are self-employed, both in agricultural and non-agricultural activities.  In Ghana, the rural population constitutes 57.9% of which 50.1% are women. According to the GLSS 2005, 61% of the urban and 53% of the rural female-headed households fall within the poorest 18% of the population.  Poverty affects women and men differently;  Gender dimensions of poverty are directly related to the forms of employment and livelihoods in which men and women are engaged. 7/15/2013
    •  Food crop farmers of whom women constitute 55 to 60% are worst hit by poverty (GLSS 2005).  The share of unpaid family farm workers is higher among women, which accounts for 21.1% as compared to 9.6 % of their male counterparts.  The seasonality of rural women’s employment is another phenomenon that affects over 30% of rural women in the Agricultural sector in comparison to 13% of those in non- farm economic activities.  In Ghana, women are mostly smallholder farmers and produce about 70% of the country’s food crops and contribute to about 60% of the labor force. 7/15/2013
    •  They are also important stakeholders in agro-forestry and fisheries and also major actors in post-harvest activities, where they make up 95% of the actors in agro-processing and 85% in food distribution.  Nonetheless, they face serious constraints in areas such as: credit, land and labour, appropriate technology, skewed extension service delivery, poor infrastructural facilities, low prestige of agriculture, high illiteracy and lack of management skills.  These have negative impact on their agricultural production.  Some of these gender inequalities are results of gender stereotyping and socio-cultural practices. 7/15/2013
    • Population Increase  Now the challenge is the global population which will reach 7 billion people in the next two years and the enormous challenge of feeding the world falls upon farmers which women play a vital role. 7/15/2013
    • Objective The main objective is to share success stories from the field as rural women and the youth. 7/15/2013
    • SUCCESS STORIES  I will share my experience with recommendations which I had from FARA to partner with Women Thrive Worldwide (WTW) after I have been identified in Ghana by WTW. We have benefitted from WTW advocacy training for DAA/FONG to enable rural women voices to be heard.  We still believe that if the government, researchers, farmers, private sector, NGOs and other civil society with the women, together “AFRICA FEEDING AFRICA THROUGH AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND INNOVATION” will be very effective using Innovation Agricultural Research For Development ( IAR4D) approach. 7/15/2013
    • DAA ACHIEVEMENT  Development Action Association (DAA) emerged out of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign / Action for Development FFHC/AD programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The programme supported community groups with the objective of reducing poverty and empowering group members to be self- reliant and to participate fully in their own development. The FAO/FFHC initiative introduced improved fish smoking and storage technology, vegetable production and cassava processing in 13 villages in the Region. 7/15/2013
    • CON’T  As a result of these positive developments and their growing self-confidence and organizational maturity the groups decided to form a loose federation of grassroot associations called the Development Action Association (DAA) or NoyaaKpee in the Ga language. In 1998, the DAA was registered as a farmer based non-profit organization, which seeks to promote self- reliance, participatory and sustainable development. 7/15/2013
    •  DAA is now operating in 54 communities in Greater Accra, Central, Eastern Regions of Ghana and 98% of the beneficiaries are rural women with low education. Its main areas of operation are food security i.e. Fish processing, cassava production, micro – credit, vegetable production fish production and small animals raising (Grasscutter, rabbits, snails, fowls, pigs etc).  DAA is a member of Farmers Organisations Network in Ghana (FONG) which is a member of formerly International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the Network of Farmers Organizations and Agricultural Producers in West Africa (ROPPA). Every quarter the executive members meet. Every year, members invite chiefs, assembly members, District chief executives and ministers of states to witness their AGMs. This is indicative of the strong governance of the association and its influence. 7/15/2013
    • Vegetable production  Under the vegetable production programme, youth and women were the target. A plot of land (12 ½ acres) was leased for the project and it was shared equally among the members of 25 farmers in a community in Greater Accra Region. They were trained in the proper methods of crop production, good seed, time of planting, proper use of agrochemicals, time of harvesting package and marketing. Since all the crops are grown on the same plot it was easy to monitor and solve problems. 7/15/2013
    • Vegetable production con’t  Yield was increased. The youth stayed in the community. Acquired knowledge was shared with the nearby communities and as at now the main crop production is okro and many communities are very grateful for the shared knowledge. Recently, small snails were eating their young crops at the field. An agro-chemicals group was introduced to them which kill all the snails and production and profit was increased.  They were able to educate their children and most of them are back to the community as teachers etc. 7/15/2013
    • 7/15/2013
    • Fish processing  The target was a cluster of communities along the beach for a great impact. Women in fish processing in 5 communities were introduced to the use of improved smoker called the Chorkor smoker (developed by CSIR/ FAO / women in fish processing). This is for the improvement on their fish smoker. The women process the fish with their daughters and some with their husbands. The main fish smoked is anchovies as they are able to store for nine months and it is for food security. Women process, store, and release it during the lean season which they sell it throughout the big markets in Ghana. For easy transportation, women transport their products in bulk in big trucks to the markets. Arrangement was made for associations to regulate the sale at a time. 7/15/2013
    • Fish Processing con’t  Women meet regularly to discuss their problems and find solutions. Children were educated by building school in one of the communities, which was handed over to the government. Women were also educated in numeracy, managements and simple book-keeping which FAO developed. With the depletion of fish, women were educated on fisheries policy which they were able to communicate with the policy makers to enforce the fisheries law. The women are now empowered. 7/15/2013
    • CHORKOR FISH SMOKER Fish properly smoked have better taste, nutrition, improve shelf life, marketing and increased income.  Adoption has been effective – Gambia, Senegal and other East Africa countries 7/15/2013
    • Livestock  DAA members were introduced by training to livestock production (rabbits, snail, grasscutter and pigs).  This programme was done individually.  A woman farmer from Sege in Greater Accra had five pigs and was able to increase her production to 400 pigs with a short period. She took farming seriously with all the family members and they were able to increase their production in crops, livestock etc. She won the Ghana 2nd National best farmer for 2009. She shares her award by using her pick-up vehicle to transport members to meetings from the various communities. 7/15/2013
    • LIVESTOCK CON’T  On Rabbits and grasscutter production, the association processes and packages it well which are sold in some of the big shops in Accra and offices. 7/15/2013
    • 7/15/2013
    • Maize processing  A widow started processing 5 kg of maize to sell. She increased her production in few months and the other rivals (2women) and their children joined in the processing. As at now the three women and their children process 45 bags of 100 kg a day using a small miller. CSIR, FARA were approached to assist to introduce a bigger miller for them as it takes a whole day to mill. Women are no more beggars as widows but are now empowered. 7/15/2013
    • 7/15/2013
    • Bridge to a community  There is no bridge on a river to a cocoa farming community in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Women and children had to walk for twelve kilometers before they could mill their food; go to hospital, school etc. When it rains the river overflows and for some days/ weeks they are cut off from the nearby town. The women were trained on advocacy to be able to talk to their district assembly.  The women talked to the district assembly and the bridge has been built and women can now travel with their produce to the market and sell. 7/15/2013
    • 7/15/2013
    • ROPPA /GHANA  ROPPA has partnered with West Africa Sub- Regional Office (WASRO) of Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) to empower rural women in five countries in West Africa (Togo, Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Liberia) on their legal right which had tremendous impartation on their lives. Women were trained as Legal Literacy Volunteers in their communities.  FONG as a member of ROPPA in Ghana benefitted from this programme. 7/15/2013
    •  As at now ROPPA has just created gender desk office to assist the women college activities in all the programmed countries in West Africa. The gender desk officer is in the process of planning activities. In Ghana FONG has a gender desk officer.  ROPPA supported the strengthening / formation of the farmer’s organization in Ghana 7/15/2013
    • RURAL WOMEN / YOUTH CONCERNS The main concerns are:  Improved technology: Women being innovators use different methods of processing eg. gari greater. With support through individual or the district, gari grating machine and improved technology of processing could be given to a group of women could enhanced and reduce the burden of the women to process food within a short time. Children will not walk for a long distance to process the family meal  Improved seed: Rural women are mostly noted for keeping seeds from the previous harvest. Due to poverty, most of them are not able to buy improved seeds which they have to buy every planting season.  With climate change affecting seasonality’s of time of planting and planting with no rains, as farmers depend on rains, poverty affect buying of new seeds to replace crops which did not do well on the field. These have become a big challenge. 7/15/2013
    • 7/15/2013
    •  Access to credit: Most rural women are not able to access credit from the banks due to collateral and the high interest rate. But women in association are able to access it as a group with training. It also becomes difficult to pay back if they have crop failure i.e no rains.  Access to Land: Most women and youth do not know land policies. They work with their husbands on the family lands and at the end when their husband dies they are moved out. When they buy land they do not request for document as their property.  When they are head of a family they are not allowed to make decisions unless a man is contacted. In some areas women are to marry and move to their husbands’ house so they are not allowed to own a land.  High Illiteracy rate: Most of the rural women worked with their first daughters so they are not allowed to go to school. In some areas boys are educated and girls are to help in the household chores. All these had increased the illiteracy rate in the rural areas. But these are changing. 7/15/2013
    •  Awareness of agricultural policies and market integrations: Due to illiteracy, and most men attend meetings in the communities, most rural women are not aware of agricultural policies but being in associations women are being educating.  Bad roads networks: In most rural areas women had to walk for a long distance to sell and buy the family needs due to bad road networks. These affect the price of their produce and children also fail to stay long at these communities to assist their parents as a child will walk for a long distance to mill produce.  Schools: Communities where children walk for long distance to school affect the children education especially women become much concern. It becomes difficult to have a women as group secretary.  Portable water / electricity: In Ghana every community is set up by a river. In recent times, rivers are polluted and having portable water, it is a problem especially during the dry season women and children have to walk for a long distance to look for water and this affect the children education. 7/15/2013
    •  Electricity in a community helps children to know more of their environment and the world at large. Without electricity, the youth do not stay in the community for long, they move out.  Storage facilities: Stored food crops assist for better price and food security for the farm family. Women need improved methods of storage.  Extension Services delivery (especially women): Extension services delivery has been a problem in the rural areas. In some communities’ women extension are accepted for the women farmers. But now the ratio is 1: 1,500 and only few women extension are in the system. 7/15/2013
    •  Advocacy: Advocacy is a tool to solve problem. Rural women trained in advocacy are able to express their felt needs for better life.  Irrigation: With the climate change, rural women with irrigation could produce by the dam, pond etc all year round to reduce poverty. 7/15/2013
    • Recommendation  Women need support as recommended by gender gap. More will be achieved and will be imparted to the youth for future development. If women are given appropriate technology and resources they could produce more than the men.  Community infrastructure (electricity, portable water, school, roads etc.) will entice the youth to stay at the communities and farm and be part of the value chain in the communities. 7/15/2013
    •  Programmes in the rural areas should be the felt need of the women and not one prepared for them.  Promotion of family farming: Communities are made up of families and they work on their farms. If any new technology is accepted, it is easy for the families to teach themselves for better production and food security.  Rural women and youth need more knowledge in agricultural policies and regional market integration.  Coming together to form association it becomes easy to train the members on the new policies so as to become part of it. 7/15/2013
    •  Promotion of local seeds savings: Women farmers normally keep local seeds for the family farms. This methods need to be promoted as the families are losing all their local seed and most of them are not able to afford to buy every planting season. The researchers also depend on the indigenous seed of the area for the improved seeds  Training in advocacy: Rural women trained in advocacy are able to advocate with the district the government and the communities for their felt needs. 7/15/2013
    • Acknowledgement  I will take this opportunity to thank the organizers for this program and hope the gender desk for rural women in FARA will help to plan programmes with the rural women to improve food security, to enable them feed themselves and reduce poverty and be part of the regional integration. We look forward for it. Not forgetting IAR4D. 7/15/2013
    • Thank You 7/15/2013