Millions of families in Africa depend on agriculture for their livelihood and poverty reduction. Women who are the majority and poorer in Ghana are engaged in farming and they contribute immensely to agricultural production in their capacity as farm owners, farm partners and farm labourers.
However, the lack of ownership, control and full access to land by women in some communities in Ghana makes it difficult for them to cultivate food crops and invest in other projects that could reduce their poverty levels significantly.
The situation in some parts of northern Ghana has not changed and women hardly have any say in the management of family/clan land.
In view of this arrangement, getting women in to the mainstream development agenda as stipulated by Article 36 of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana has become problematic.
The dominance of customary laws particularly in Northern Ghana over constitutional laws on land management has perpetuated inequality of access to, ownership and the use of land against women even though “women in Africa contribute seventy percent (70%) of food production, accounting for nearly half of all farm labour and also eighty to ninety percent (80-90%) of food processing, storage and transport as well as hoeing and weeding” (Kagwanja, 2008).
The Project Officer for the Methodist Agricultural Programme (MAP), Amos Baafira Mwindoma has called on Traditional Authorities and stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region to do away with cultural norms and practices that inhibits agricultural productivity in the area.
In some typical communities women are not allowed to go into the sale and rearing of animals.
He said the practice where women cannot go into the rearing and sale of some animals must be discouraged.
He said agriculture should be seen as a lucrative business where everyone can go into the cultivation of any crop without restrictions due to certain cultural beliefs.