As part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day, the Maaltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has trained about 80 peasant women farmers at Yakort, a farming community in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region in organic composting.
The training was to empower them to make a paradigm shift from inorganic farming practices to organic farming to improve their yields as well as generate income from selling the organic manure to help improve their livelihoods and achieve gender parity.
The training, which was held on the theme, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, aimed to empower the beneficiaries, mostly widows and single parents, to venture into dry season vegetable farming such as tomato, pepper, onions, carrots, ‘bitor’ and ‘alefi’ to contribute to food security and generate income.
Mrs Lydia M. Miyella, Founder and Executive Director, Maaltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the training site said due to climate change and loss of soil nutrients, organic farming practices had become the preferred way of sustainably increasing yields while maintaining the soil nutrients.
She said most of the peasant women farmers in the area were vulnerable and could not afford to buy organic fertilizer especially considering the global increase in fertilizer prices.
That compelled her outfit to empower more women to go into composting for the production of organic manure to fertilize their farms and sell some, she added.
She noted, the NGO with financial support from the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) was empowering more women in the community to go into tree growing to help mitigate climate change.
“As part of the support, a parcel of land had already been secured for the Peasant women farmers to expand their farming activities and to grow economic trees and other tree species on the acquired land.
“Plans are also far advanced to mechanize a borehole on the secured land for the group with same support from the FFF to facilitate the activities of the Peasant Women Farmers in tree growing and vegetable cultivation,” she added.
Ms Miyella said the efforts were geared towards attaining Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP) Agenda 2030 Strategy, which aimed to position smallholder forest and farm producers as key agents for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contributing to a ‘green recovery’ from the COVID-19 Pandemic and its ripple effects.
The Maaltaaba Peasant Women Farmers’ Cooperative works to improve productivity and household incomes of women in the Talensi and Nabdam districts in the Upper East region through the promotion of sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation practices and proper agri-business and marketing and has a total peasant women farmers of about 800.
She said her outfit as part of empowerment strategies had facilitated the formation of the Village Saving and Loans (VSLAs) schemes at the community level and that had empowered majority of the women to go into petty trading to help improve upon their livelihoods.
She stated the women farmers had also signed a memorandum to partner Government on the Green Ghana project by joining other stakeholders to grow more trees in July this year.
By Anthony Apubeo, GNA