Gender inequalities in modern agricultural value chains
In modern value chains, men are concentrated in higher status, more remunerative contract farming since they generally control household land and labour, while women predominate as wage labourers in agro-industries. Women workers are generally segregated in certain nodes of the chain (e.g. processing and packaging) that require relatively unskilled labour, reflecting cultural stereotypes on gender roles and abilities.
Gender inequalities in modern agricultural value chains
Such gender-biased segregation is often used to legitimize the payment of lower wages to women even with exceptions for some non-traditional agricultural exports (NTAEs). Segregation and the casual or temporary nature of contracts limit women’s opportunities to acquire new technical and entrepreneurial skills, increasing the risk of redundancy if their jobs are automated or if men are favored in technical training.
Although men are increasingly moving into food crops as returns to export crops fall, women often remain the main drivers of traditional value chains in local markets for fresh or processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, tubers, dairy products and fish. As the returns are often low and all producers need support to increase productivity and incomes, women are in particular need as they tend to have poorer access to inputs, extension and markets.
The on-going Busac Funded project, Titled: Advocacy for support of agriculture value chain in the northern region is all about empowering women and people with disabilities in the agric value chain to demand for better treatment and also to benefit fully from government interventions such as the planting for food and jobs program.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT INCLUDES:
1. To Advocate for the implementation of the gender policy of the planting for food and jobs program to ensure that productive persons with disabilities as well as women who are ready to go into agribusiness are supported.
2.To ensure that an enabling environment is created by the district assemblies and the agric department to include women and people with disabilities in their annual plan for support.
3. To secure agreement with the assembly and the agric department to enforce the gender component of the planting for food and jobs.
PLG PRESS RELEASE
Release time: 10.00am @ KuKoa
Issue: Advocacy for Support of Agricultural Value Chain in the Northern Region Date: 4th July, 2019.
From: Peace for Life Ghana (PLG)
Call to action: Ministry of Food and Agriculture enforce the gender components of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) policy.
WHY A CALL TO ACTION?
The Peace for Life Ghana (PLG) was supported by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund to investigate to what extend do the “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) policy addresses the needs of persons with disabilities. The research confirmed that, “Currently, West Mamprusi, East Mamprusi and Bunkpuru districts are not addressing the gender policy of the planting for food and jobs (PFJs) to ensure that, productive Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)/women’s groups who are ready to go into agribusinesses in the areas are supported. The lack of administrative/political support is impeding welfare & increasing unemployment among PWDs and women’s groups. The PFJs policy emphasised the need for disable/women groups to have priority opportunities”. The issue is true and confirmed by the research, little effort is made to enforce gender issues.
FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH
The data collected and analyzed, revealed the following:
1. More disabled women respondents (98%) were affected negatively about the planting for food and jobs (PFJs) policy in the 3 districts of the North East Region.
2. Large numbers of respondents (80%) are not aware of the government initiative and enforcement of planting for food and jobs which should target them (disabled women/groups) to alleviate poverty. This seems to deviate from policy intent.
3. Access to information is a barrier to the real beneficiaries. There is a high level of inadequate information on social and behavioral change communication (SBCC) at the various grassroots about the PFJs policy. This was confirmed from the data gathered during the study, respondents who have not benefited from the Planting for food and Jobs Program gave the following as responses; “We are not informed”,” Project is not here”,” lack of access to information”, “Could not reach out to the MOFA staff” as reasons preventing them from becoming beneficiaries.
4. About 98% of respondents confirmed from the study that, they have not seen any policy document or its related material on the PFJs. The policy may have been popular within the media landscape but unpopular at the rural districts.
5. In terms of capacity of the Regional Ghana Federation of People with Disability (GFPD) to have acted and lobby for the districts to get their fair share of the PFJs package for GFPDs and Women groups, it was realized that, the regional body too, is weak and unaware of the opportunities. 89 respondents representing 89% believed the regional body was very weak to press home the demands from the government. This implies that even though some of the respondents think the regional body can press home the demands from the market, majority of the respondents do not think the regional body can press home the demands from the government. This confirms the need for an advocacy action, to reverse situation.
6. The analyzed data from the research point to the fact that “the PFJs policy is not yet grounded and still have not responded to marginalized groups such as conscious women groups and productive disabled groups to benefit from package”. CONCLUDING REMARK The association (PLG) clearly had a case to press home demands from MOFA. Research and advocacy has been found to be effective in influencing policy initiative and enforcement. The “Planting for Food and Jobs” (P4FJ) is a sustainable approach to reaching out to large numbers of the rural population to be motivated for agribusiness. The Ghana Federation of People with Disability (GFPD) could take advantage of the policy to be self-reliance and a contribution to climate change mitigation.
Signed by: MUTAWAKILU ALHASSAN (Chairman