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21.11.2005 Regional News

East Mamprusi Women harvest 2000 bags of Soya-beans

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Gambaga (N/R), Nov. 21, GNA - Three Women's Groups in the East Mamprusi District of the Northern Region have harvested a total of 2,000 bags of Soya-beans from a 100-hectare piece of land they cropped during last year's farming season.

The three groups, drawn from Dindani, Jawani, and Namangu, have also picked and processed a large quantity of sheanuts for sale. Through this, most of the women, who hitherto, could not provide their basic needs and those of their children in school, are now able to do so, participants at a gender workshop were told. These came to light at the weekend when "Maalin-Zaali", a local NGO based in the East Mamprusi District working on the promotion of the well-being of women and the girl-child, organised a six-week intensive workshop on Gender, Business Management and Entrepreneurial Skills for members of the three groups.

The workshop was aimed at building the capacity of the participants in the production, planning and basic management skills in order to enable them to expand their operations and explore other means of improving upon their income levels.

In his opening remarks, Mr Salifu Mahama Tampuri, Acting Programme Manager of Maalin-Zaali, said the main aim of he NGO was to empower the women economically for the improvement and sustenance of their livelihoods and their families, especially the girl-child.

Mr Tampuri noted that with support from the United Nations Gender Programme and the International Federation Agency, the NGO was able to acquire a tractor, six oil extraction machines and a Warehouse which, he said, was facilitating and enhancing the operations of the groups.

The Acting Programme Manager, however, noted that the women lacked certain basic Business Managerial and Entrepreneurial Skills, which impacted negatively on their business activities.

He said the workshop would equip them on how to plan, manage and execute their businesses well so as maximise profit.

Mr Tampuri said plans were far advanced to set up a shea-butter extraction industry in the district to process the product for export. This, he pointed out, would help alleviate poverty in the district. In a speech read for him, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for East Mamprusi, Mr Peter Wuni, commended Maali-Zaali for its activities. He said the government was exploring all possible means of creating jobs for the people, and that this dream could only be achieved if the people acquired skills.

"The lack of skills is one of the reasons for people not getting jobs and, as a result, have to migrate to South to engage in jobs such as Kayaye", he held.

A Gender Specialist, Mrs Augustina Benlu, impressed upon men to treat their wives with care, compassion and love by assisting them to undertake their household chores and other activities. She deplored the situation where husbands left almost everything to their wives to do whiles they idled around.

Mrs Benlu explained that if this trend continued, it would impede the success of the Girl-Child programme. She called on the participants to always ensure the proper management of their businesses and to cultivate the habit of saving.

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