Participants at a Regional Policy Dialogue on Gender Responsive Reporting held in Wa in the Upper West Region for say lack of peer review among farmers tend to have effect on their yields.
According to them, the absence of peer review makes many people not to uphold the appropriate benchmark for chemical application thereby reaping the consequences their action.
The participants observed that at times, farmers apply a small quantity of fertilizer over a large track of land only to get a very poor harvest.
The participants at the Ghana Trade and Livelihood Coalition (GTLC) policy dialogue on gender responsive reporting therefore suggested the formation of cooperatives by farmers.
They indicated that cooperatives will enable the farmers to have a strong voice to make a case to better their lot whilst at the same serving as platforms for them to peer review themselves in order to uphold and adopt good agricultural practices.
The Coordinator of GTLC, Ibrahim Akalbila also stressed the need for cooperatives to be made part of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme to enable it to work more effectively.
He said most farmers associated their increased yields to good rains this year rather any other intervention.
One thing that also came up strongly was the necessity for gender responsive budgeting system to be upheld whilst issues are analyzed through gender perspective or lens.
The Policy Officer of GTLC, Emmanuel Wullingdool made a presentation on the field data collected on the gender responsiveness of governments programmes on Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), One-District-One-Factory, (1D1F) and One-Village-One-Dam, (1V1D) in respect of six data centres.
The communities in Upper West were Nakori, Jonga and Bugubelle whilst those outside the Region were Pwalugu, Dalung and Jana.
He touched on accessibility to services including land preparation (ploughing), fertilizer, extension and credit in connection with gender.
According to Mr. Wullingdool, some of the challenges encountered in accessing fertilizer include Not Easy to Get Coupons, Delays in Getting Coupons, Not near the farm and Indirect Cost Before Getting Coupons”.
It also came to the fore at the session that women have difficulty in accessing tractor for ploughing their fields.
They said, even when they offered the tractor services, they considered after the men have served close to the end of the farming season.
The preference for male agric extension officers to female agric officers in a particular community in Upper West equally came up for discussion.
There was a consensus for gender responsive budgeting at the national level to address the needs of the people as way of bridging the inequality gap.
The Policy Officer of GTLC, Emmanuel Wullingdool therefore hammered home the importance to synchronize the needs of communities, the national budget as well as what the policy strategy is saying.
Story by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo