Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cashew for Alternative Livelihood for Women

group of women in agric
Francis Npong, Bimbila: The women in the Nanumba North District Assembly have been encouraged to go into cashew production and bee keeping as alternative livelihoods activities to reduce extreme poverty among them.
“Though a larger number of women in the district were engaged in farming activities they are still wallowing in poverty and deprivation”, he said.
He said that about 28,000 women are active farmers and involved in agriculture businesses ranging from production, processing and marketing and were playing key role in the development of agriculture and food security.
The Nanumba North District Director of Agriculture Mr. Eugene Yelfaanibe who made call at a district partnership platform (DDP), an initiative by Ghana Communities Developing Association (GDCA) to ensure social accountability to facilitate development at local level.
Under the programme, all district development partners are brought together to deliberate on development policies and programmes being implemented to improve people’s livelihoods.
Mr. Yelfaanibe said that about 28,000 women in the district were engaged in farming, processing and marketing of agricultural products but were still living under abject poverty.
The Director said cashew and bee keeping programme which is new in the district was under the Blinda and gate’s Africa cashew farming programme and geared towards improving economic and social wellbeing of women in society.
The Director noted with concerns the problem women faced in acquiring land to undertake farming activities and appealed to men to release parcels of land to women to undertake cashew farming and bee keeping to augment their livelihoods activities to enable them cater for their wards.
The District Director disclosed that the district had cultivated 1,500 acres of maize, 500 acres of rice, 200 acres of soya beans and 35 acres of sorghum under the government block farm programme this year.
Farmers in the district according to the director could not access Northern Regional Growth Programme (NRGP) because there was no rural bank in the district and appealed to the authorities of the programme to make special provision for farmers in the district to help expand their production to increase food security.
He also appealed to the ministry of agriculture to as a matter of urgency resource his office to facilitate easy monitoring to improve security in the district.
The field officer of GDCA, Mr. Ibrahim Abudu explained that the district partnership platform is an initiative to monitor and check development progress in the beneficiary district.
The organisation, he said release GHc 1,200 every quarter to the beneficiary district bring together stakeholders in development to deliberate and share opinions on the how the districts were faring in terms of development and social justice.
The programme is aimed to ensure social accountability, facilitate collaboration, to aid development at the grass root levels in five beneficiary districts including Tolon/Kunbumgu, Tamale Metropolitan, Yendi Municipal, and Karaga district.
The programme would be expanded to cover another ten districts by next year as part of the organization’s plans to encourage accountability and popular participation of governance.