Estate developers’ encroachment on farm lands threat to food security – DAA Centre Manager
The Centre Manager, DAA Fisheries Training Centre at Kokrobite, Mrs Emelia Nortey has disclosed that the ongoing encroachment of estate developers on farmlands in the country has been one of the challenges confronted by rural women farmers.
That, she said has made it difficult for women to have access to land and farmstoo make food available for all.
Mrs Emelia Nortey underscored that, rural women are the backbone of our communities, often working tirelessly behind the scenes, yet their impact reverberates far and wide.
She, therefore, urged chiefs and individual land owners to stop selling farmlands to estate developers in order to reserve farmlands for farming.
She made this observation during the International Day for Rural Women celebration which took place at Kokrobite in the Greater Accra Region on Monday.
The event organised by the Development Action Association (DAA) was supported by the GIZ-implemented Sustainable Employment through Agribusiness (AgriBiz) programme on the theme “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food for All”.
The celebration saw in attendance 400 rural women farmers who strongly expressed the needed support for rural women to ensure good food is made available for all.
To further this, the women advocated for a policy on aquaculture biosecurity to ensure fish farming safeguards the ecosystem.
Ms. Rosemary Abbey, Director, Finance and Administration at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, in a speech delivered on behalf of Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon. Mavis Hawa Koomson said the Ministry is committed to advancing the agenda of women in programmes and projects.
Highlighting some of the initiatives introduced by the Ministry and its Agencies to address some challenges confronting women in fisheries and aquaculture, she noted that, under the FAO, NORAD funded project “Empowering Women in Small-Scale Fisheries for Sustainable Food Systems” the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines and Good practices have been translated into five (5) Ghanaian languages and distributed to fish processors to create awareness for the adoption of best practices.
The languages are Nzema, Fante, Ga, Ewe, and Gonja.
Additionally, the Ministry and Fisheries Commission in partnership with the Ghana Standards Authority, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is implementing the Safe Fish Certification and Licensing Scheme (SFCLS).
The Scheme, which audits the catching, landing, transporting, processing, packaging, storage, and marketing of fish along the value chain, will guarantee consumption.
She commended women for the tremendous work done to ensure good food is made available for all.
Women contribute about 60 per cent to agriculture development in Ghana, and almost all are smallholder farmers of which about 95% are rural dwellers. To appreciate the contribution of rural women, the United Nations has earmarked 15th October of every year to commemorate rural women, hence International Day of Rural Women.
Mrs. Lydia Sasu, Executive Director of DAA stressed that “the proposal is the need for an aquaculture biosecurity plan to curb business behaviours that damage the ecosystem. The plan should ensure fish farming protects wild species and promotes healthy, productive, and resilient water-use ecosystems, including domestic jobs and services”.
Ms Mabel Simpeh in a speech delivered on behalf of Joseph Nyarni Stephen, MCE – Ga South Municipal Assembly emphasized that rural women play a key role in the development of their communities by preserving cultural heritage while embracing progress and modernity hence it is imperative to recognize the vital role they play in society.
He noted that the conversation about women must go beyond mere words and ensure that rural women have access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities to adapt to the challenges of our rapidly changing world.
Hon Joseph Nyarni Stephen pledged to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to create an environment that is conducive to the growth and development of rural
“We will invest in programs and initiatives that promote gender equality, empower rural women, and recognize their vital role in shaping our municipality’s future”.
The programme saw a display of primary and value-added products of members of the association.