The income level of women farmers in five regions have increased through an intervention programme by the German Association of Rural Women (dlv).
Additionally, the volume of sales of parboiled rice of the women groups increased from 17 per cent to 27 per cent following the adoption of new techniques in processing the rice.
There has also been improvement of food security and reduction of malnutrition among over 6,000 people through the promotion of diversified and healthy diets for better and balanced nutrition including locally available foods and home gardening.
This was disclosed by Madam Sophie Weissenhorn, Project Manager, German Association of Rural Women, at a ceremony to officially mark the end of the six-year project, which benefited five regions in Ghana.
The regions are Volta, Oti, Bono East, Northern, and Greater Accra. Beneficiaries received training in rice processing/business development, nutrition education/cultivation of home gardens and organisational development in advocacy for smallholder women farmers.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Madam Weissenhorn described the intervention as “successful” adding that the rice intervention area saw the volume of sales increased from 17 per cent to 27 per cent, while income levels of women farmers also increased from 21 per cent to 32 per cent.
Mad Petra Bentkämper, President, (dlv), also said: “Together we have come a long and important way for women in Ghana and in Germany, always with respect and appreciation.
“We have achieved successes that motivate us. Hopefully, the rural women in Ghana will also keep up the good work to bring us closer to an equal participation in the agriculture, food and political sector,” she added.
On choosing Ghana for the project, she said: “The first question was: with which country do we want to collaborate? And luckily, we decided for Ghana – a nation that is politically stable and with a lot of potential!”
She asked the Ministry and stakeholders including the Farmer Organisation Network Ghana (FONG), and Development Action Association (DAA) who supported the implementation of the programme.
Madam Paulina Addy, Director, Women in Agricultural Development Directorate (WIAD), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) pledged that the Ministry would collaborate with stakeholders to ensure continuity of the programme.
She said: “The intervention is transforming lives at the rural level, and we hope to sustain it.”
Sharing her experience with GNA, Mad Paulina Adade, a beneficiary, said: “Before the programme, we didn’t know anything about rice parboiling, but dlv trained us and now we have our rice in some supermarkets.”
She added that: “I have my own brand, and some of the people I’ve trained have also started their own brands. Because of the packaging, a lot of people are patronising our products.”