Reducing the challenges for youth especially young women farmers will require a need for further investment in the agriculture sector to allow them to take advantage of the new and emerging market structures and to have access to the latest in agricultural technology and livestock production systems. Women are the most important actors in the agricultural value chain which begins from farm production, market and intra household distribution of food. They play a lead role in post-harvest activities such as shelling of grains, storage, processing and marketing. They are also becoming increasingly visible in farm tasks which traditionally have been designated as male preserves.
During recent focus group discussions (FGD) conducted for representatives of youth groups in northern and southern Ghana under the theme: Promising Strategies to Address the Localised Needs of Rural Young Female Farmers, a representative from Women in Agriculture Development Directorate (WIAD) shared the view that young women (15 to 35 years) form a major age-group that is actively and passionately engaged in non-farm agribusiness ventures. The representative further emphasised that despite their age and economic limitations young women play essential roles in producing a sound and healthy rural economy. They are prone to having limited access to resources than their young-male counterparts especially in areas of education, effective networks, relevant technical, vocational and business training, and access to credit, all of which combine to restrain their ability to increase their productivity and incomes.
The workshops were organised by Syecomp Ghana Ltd as part of activities under a grant activity: Improving Approaches to Mainstreaming Gender in Ghana’s Youth Policy and Youth in Agriculture Programme: Focus on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Market-Oriented Value Chains; and sponsored by the USAID|Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project, which is being implemented by Chemonics International Inc. (USA).
The focus group discussions provided an opportunity for participants to share their opinion and make recommendations on various topical issues affecting inclusive youth participation in agriculture. A representative from the Abibiman Foundation accentuated that increasing economic opportunities for rural young women farmers in Ghana will significantly reduce the rural-urban migration drift. A representative from the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) proffered solutions to addressing the localised needs of young women farmers. These include:
- determining gaps in rural on-farm and off-farm business development services,
- providing entrepreneurial training and mentorship to close these gaps, and
- providing highly targeted financing to sustain agribusiness development.
According to the representative this is a proven three-step social entrepreneurship model developed by GYIN that would provide a holistic solution to the challenges that rural young women farmers constantly encounter.
This is the 9th in a 12-series blog (articles) to espouse the context of the Position Paper on effectively mainstreaming Gender and Youth in Agriculture in Ghana with support from USAID/Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project (USAID/APSP)
Author: Syecomp Ghana Ltd
Email the author: Projects@syecomp.com
The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.