The Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) has urged government to be gender responsive in its budgeting, to ensure every category of persons receive a fair share of services in the agricultural sector.
Mr Ibrahim Akalbila, the Coordinator of GTLC who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, on Monday, said if government’s expenditure analysts looked at allocations for the vulnerable, it would help respond to the needs of those categories that were unable to benefit from agricultural interventions annually.
Mr Akalbila said though his outfit was not calling for a separate budget for those categories of persons, experience over the years showed that every year women, children and people with disability were unable to have adequate access to the various interventions in the agricultural sector.
He said the analysis of ensuring there was gender responsiveness in the budget was critical, to ensure that all category of persons were targeted, to enable them have access to plough and extension services among others.
“There are some category of persons who will not be able to access tractor services because of the cost and which the private sector may not also target them and for that matter, government should be able do some analysis to identify them and make provision for them.’
Sharing some reports on studies conducted by his outfit this year, he said access to seed by farmers as compared to 2018 dropped whilst fertilizer access rose from 3.0 per cent to 82 per cent.
According to him, the good yields recorded this year was not as a result of PFJs, but the good rains since some farmers who did not use fertilizer still had good yields.
In terms of access to credit, he said there was increased access for those who wanted the facility and also noted that in 2018, only 4 per cent of respondents interviewed during the field study had access to credit, while nine per cent had access to credit in 2019.
On Modernization of Agriculture in Ghana (MAG), Mr Akalbila said there was the need for various steps in the agricultural policy objectives to be followed.
He stated that access to extension services was important as many farmers needed information on modern agricultural technology and stressed that access to seed, extension services, science and technology should be high on the agenda of Agriculture productivity.
Modernisation of Agriculture (MAG) in Ghana is conditional on budget support and technical assistance that responds to the country’s objectives of the food and agriculture sector.
This in impinged on the goal to bring about structural transformation of the economy, evidenced in food security, poverty reduction and employment generation, he said.