Urbanet, a social impact organisation, has presented 25 bicycles estimated at GHc25,000 to 25 Female Extension Agents (FEVs) under the Northern Ghana Integrated Development Project (NGIDP) in the Gushegu Municipality.
The FEVs are expected to support Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) to enhance women farmers’ agricultural extension services in the Gushegu Municipality of the Northern Region, and work for colleague women farmers in their communities.
The beneficiary communities included Wantugu, Gbagu, Kpaatili, Gbambu, Nyensung, Kpana Yapala, Laligu, Zanteli, Zamashegu, Pulo, Pumo, Lunlua, Damdaboli, Yishie, Jinwoo, Prinkpamo, Yawungu, Bulgu, Naawuni and Kpugi.
The NGIDP seeks to contribute to rural poverty reduction in the country through economic development, adoption of environmentally-sustainable agriculture policies and practice, and greater access to social protection in Gushegu Municipal, and Mion, Central Gonja and Kpandai Districts.
Mr Yaja Robert Dawuni, Gushegu Municipal Chief Executive, speaking at the ceremony to present the bicycles to the beneficiaries at Gushegu, expressed gratitude to the partners for the support and said it would help monitor farms and identify challenges farmers faced regarding the crops and report same to the appropriate quarters for immediate solution.
It was organised by Urbanet in collaboration with ActionAid and Tree Aid with financial support from the European Union.
Mr Dawuni said the bicycles were for the communities to support efforts of AEAs to ensure that the farmers got enough yields and urged the beneficiary communities to focus particularly on activities that affected crop yield of the ordinary farmer, especially strange diseases, pests, and rodents.
Mr Iddrisu Adam, Project Coordinator of Urbanet said agricultural extension was a critical service to bring about sustained increase in productivity, incomes, and food security.
He said women farmers were confronted with serious challenges of inadequate and untimely access to extension services, adding that the average ratio of AEAs to farmers was 1:1,850 in the country as against Food and Agriculture Organisation’s recommendation of 1:500.
He said it was against this background that the NGIDP established the FEVs with women farmers drawn from 20 farming communities in the municipality to address the imbalances.
Mr Adam said three women from each community were trained by the Agricultural Department, and accordingly, awarded some tools, and certified to offer agricultural extension services to colleague farmers indicating that the FEVs were expected to work closely with the AEAs to enhance women’s participation in agricultural activities as well as boost agricultural productivity.
Braimah Mieli, one of the group magazias (leader) from Zanteli, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked Urbanet for the gesture and said aside using it for the purpose, it would be useful to them to run errands from one village to another as well as go to markets and attend other social gatherings.
Source: Ghana News Agency