The Programme Manager of Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) Patricia Blankson Akakpo, says COVID-19 has impacted the country’s food systems.
She said even though there were challenges, it has also created opportunities, which stakeholders have adopted to stay afloat. Madam Akakpo said this at a meeting organised by NETRIGHT and the Institute of African Studies which sought to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of fishers and farmers including any coping strategies that have been adopted during the pandemic.
The project is part of a broader project coordinated by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies in South Africa on ‘the impacts of COVID-19 Responses on the Political Economy of Africa Food Systems’ in three countries namely South Africa, Tanzania and Ghana. According to Madam Akakpo, the sector was adversely affected by the pandemic especially during the lockdown period which restricted the movement of fishers and farmers. She said they were not able to transport their produce to the market, which resulted in most of them getting spoiled.
She, however, noted that there were opportunities in the preservation of fishes, adding that, the pandemic had helped them to adopt ways of preserving their fishes better. The Programmes, Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Person at the Development Action Association, Emmanuel Asare, said CSOs are advocating that women fishers also have subsidized outboard motors which was initially given to only male canoe owners.
He said they are undertaking programmes and educating them on how to cope with climate change which also affected their productivity.