The Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI) has held a workshop with partners and stakeholders of the crop production chain to map out strategies to bridge gender productivity gaps in crop production.

The workshop, held at Nyankpala in the Northern Region, was to enable CSIR-SARI achieve its mandate of conducting research into food and fiber crop for the purpose of introducing improved technologies to enhance agricultural production and productivity in the savanna ecological belt.

It was based a study conducted on gender productivity gaps in groundnut production across northern Ghana between January to February 2017 with 200 sampled small holder groundnut farmers drawn from twenty (20) selected communities across ten (10) Tropical Legumes III (TL III) groundnut project districts.

The districts included Mion, West Mamprusi, Tolon and Yendi Municipality in the Northern Region, Bawku Municipality, Kassena-Nankana and Binduri in the Upper East Region and Nadowli-Kaleo, Sisala East and Lawra in the Upper West Region.

The study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the TL III project, was conducted to determine productivity differentials among male and female small holder groundnut farmers across the TL III project districts as well as to identify the determinants of productivity across the study area.

The results of the study showed a gender productivity gap of 2.74 per cent for male and female small holder farmers in Northern Region, whilst a gap of 3.24 per cent and 6.69 per cent was observed for Upper East and West Regions respectively.

Some of the significant determinants of productivity among smallholder groundnut farmers were observed to be membership of social groupings, the use of improved seeds, participation in field trials or demonstrations, area under crop cultivation, years of experience in groundnut production amongst others.

Stakeholders recommended that gender based groups geared towards agricultural production be encouraged among smallholder farmers, since they acted as a conduit for accessing credit to enhance production.

It was recommended that community based seed production groups be formed to produce quality seeds at reduced prices to help more farmers gain access to improved seeds for production.

Farmers, especially women were also encouraged to take part in field trials or demonstrations, since they acted as the basis for technology transfer whiles government worked to promote favorable financial policies to encourage farmers to take loans to expand production.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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