The Upper West Regional Women in Agricultural Development Officer, Madam Barikisu Jangu, has advised women farmers to practice the culture of saving to enable them to improve on their farming activities.
She advised them to save the little monies they had from the sale of the farm produce and to reinvest them into the farming to secure tractor services as well as to purchase farm inputs such as fertilizers rather than relying on credit facilities from the banks which came with high interest rates.
Madam Jangu gave the advised at Nakore in the Wa Municipality at durbar organised by the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) in partnership the OXFAM.
The durbar was to sensitise the chiefs and people of the community to Gender Responsive Budgeting as part of the implementation of the GROW project in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
She explained that the high interest on credit facilities was inimical to their financial growth of women farmers as they could pay twice the total sum of the credit they received from the banks and said it.
Madam Barikisu also urged the women to form groups to enable them to demand land from landlords for farming purposes as well as to strengthen their financial base with which they could engage in large scale farming.
Meanwhile, some women farmers in the community expressed worry about their inability to access farm inputs including fertilizers, under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.
Madam Asata Abu, said women farmers in the community were unable to transport the fertilizer from Wa to the farms at the community and appealed to the government and the managers of the PFJ programme to create a distribution centre at Nakore to enable them to have easy access to the inputs.
Also, Madam Hamida observed that women's access to tractor services in the community was a challenge which affected their farming activities, and advocated the need for a dedicated tractor to women farmers to help them improve their farming activities.
She touched on lack of ready market for the farm produce as a setback to their economic transformation.
The Policy Officer for the GTLC, Mr Emmanuel Wullingdool, noted that a survey conducted to assess issues of Gender Responsive Budgeting at the Nakore community revealed that both men and women were aware of the PFJ programme but that more men were benefiting from the programme than women.
He said the survey also revealed that some farmers in the community still relied on conventional seeds for farming in spite of the availability of improved seeds under the PFJ project due to their inability to access those seeds.
"The programme mentioned that there is going to be inclusiveness with women and youth benefiting which meant that they were going to be the majority, once it has given them attention, but that is not the case", Mr Wullingdool intimated.
He said persons between the ages 36 and 55 were the majority benefiting the PFJ programme which meant that more needed to be done to attract more youth and women into the programme.
"It is commendable that there is inclusiveness in the programme but we need to go beyond that and target the women within the programme, remove the barriers and ensure that they have access to these services", the Policy Officer suggested.