Mr Andy Karas, USAID Mission Director for Ghana, has said the needs of women in agriculture needs to be prioritised to help boost food production, reduce poverty and increase performance in the sector.
He said the concern of these women was of national interest; hence, the need to invest in areas that would enable them increase productivity and ensure food security.
Mr Andy Karas made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sideline of the Northern Ghana Governance Activity (NGGA) Women in Agriculture Inception Workshop held in Wa.
He said women faced a lot of challenges in agricultural production process and these included lack of access to farm lands, irrigation and credit facilities among others.
The USAID Ghana Mission Director said to address these challenges, the system of governance in agricultural production needed to be elevated through the implementation of an appropriate policy, hence the initiation of the NGGA project.
Mr Andy Karas said the NGGA project sought to create the platform for all the constituencies within the agriculture value chain to come together to deliberate on how to ensure a more responsive governance for improved agriculture development in the country.
Mr Chrys S. K. Pul, the Governance and Advocacy Specialist for the NGGA project, said the project had already established both Regional and District Civil Society Advocacy Platforms.
He said the purpose of the forum was to interact with members of the platforms for them to understand how they were supposed to work by way of collecting ideas, aggregating them and pushing through advocacy.
Mr Pul said the meeting would also afford them the opportunity to come out with an Action Plan on how to achieve the NGGA goal of ensuring more responsive governance for improved agricultural development in the country.
Mr Lord Pobi Bekai, the Upper West Regional Project Officer for NGGA, said ActionAid Ghana would provide technical lead in the implementation of component three which is directly focused on women empowerment in 28 selected districts while supporting with the implementation of component one and two in the Upper West Region.
Mr Bekai said the main objective of the component three was to enhance women participation in governance and increase access to information on agriculture opportunities.
It is also to strengthen information and knowledge of CSOs to effectively participate in agricultural policy processes and initiatives at the local government level, he said.
Six districts are to benefit from the project implementation in the Upper West Region namely; Sissala West, Sissala East, Wa East, Jirapa, Nandom, and Nadowli-Kaleo Districts.
The NGGA is a five-year (March 2016-February 2021) USAID-funded project being implemented by a consortium led by CARE International in 28 districts in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions.
The project budget is 11,447,513.00 United States dollars with a target population of 1.5 million people.