Gender mainstreaming in farmers’ co-operative: Groups in Ghana achieve food security for small-scale farmers

| July 25, 2022

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Like this edition’s Farmer story from Burkina Faso, our Script of the week focuses on co-operatives that are improve women’s well-being and the well-being of their communities. 

In Ghana, the issue of gender inequality is a challenge to many development organizations that aim to ensure food security and improve lives in rural communities. Even though it is widely accepted that women contribute about 50 per cent of the country’s food, the majority of them are excluded from decision-making processes.

It is also well known that when women lack control over resources such as land, they are unable to make decisions and take actions to help improve their family’s income.

Without control over family income, for example by growing cash crops, women contribute their time and labour only to maintain subsistence levels, and are more severely affected by poverty than men. Cultural norms and values place a lot of burdens on women, which bar them from activities such as planting crops that cover large areas of land or owning a plantation. This also limits their ability to promote innovative farming practices that would help their families escape perennial hunger.

This script focuses on the importance of sharing farmers’ knowledge on gender equality so that other farmers can benefit. It is based on a farmers’ co-operative group that was established to fight perennial food shortages in the Eastern Corridor of Northern Ghana, otherwise known as “the food triangle of Ghana.” Farmers in this area traditionally practice shifting cultivation, planting crops such as yams, maize, millet, sorghum, groundnuts, cassava and rice. For the first time, these farmers are learning new techniques in mixed cropping and planting cash crops such as soya beans. The other equally important activity carried out by the farmers’ group is gender sensitization. The Kanlade community farmers’ co-operative group is one of over 200 groups established in the program area by SEND-Ghana in northern Ghana.

The script is based on actual interviews. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the people involved in the original interviews.