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Women gain access to land

Before 2017, women in West Mamprusi District did not have access to productive land, but a grant from the Danida-supported BUSAC fund changed that.

“Women as a whole are seen as vulnerable because of their status in society. This project helped us breach that vulnerability,” James Adocta, financial secretary in Tikarinongo Cooperative Farming and Marketing Union, explains.

In 2012, Tikarinongo Cooperative Farming and Marketing Union received a 80,000 GHS grant from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) to help address land rights challenges for their female union members in the West Mamprusi District. Until then, women did not have access to fertile land because the activities of Water User Associations in the area were male-dominated.

BUSAC, jointly funded by Danida and USAID, supports evidenced-based advocacy initiatives to promote an enabling business environment in Ghana. The Tikarinongo Cooperative Farming and Marketing Union grant helped finance advocacy campaigns that targeted men. 

“At first, the men did not want to give women access to productive land, but advocacy is not an overnight thing so as we continued dialoguing and engaging them in our discussions they got to understand how this could also benefit them,” James Adocta says.

Benefiting the whole family

The BUSAC-funded advocacy helped, and in 2017 women from West Mamprusi were given access to fertile land. Today, women have access to around 30 percent of the farming land in West Mamprusi and this has not only benefited the union’s almost 950 female members but their entire families. James Adocta explains:

“The changes we have made have meant an increase in food productivity and yield which means an extra income for the households through which the women are able to financially support their family”.

Gladys Anaba, 60, is one of the women who now have access to productive land thanks to the BUSAC grant. Her husband has given her three acres where she produces maize and groundnuts.

“I sell my farm products at the local market. The money I make goes to my children's’ school fees, their transportation, books, uniforms, and medical bills,” the mother of four explains.

Gladys Anaba can now financially support her four children.

Confidence has grown

The West Mamprusi women are meeting once a week to discuss their farming activities. According to Gladys Anaba, the meeting is a great chance for the women to exchange experiences:  

“Everyone in the group is active and giving their all. We are good at helping each other on everything from farming to childcare”. 

James Adocta, who has been working for the union since 2012, sees how the women have developed:

“In the beginning, a lot of them were shy and did not want to speak up. This has completely changed now and we can see how their confidence has grown. We hope that our case can inspire other communities to get on board and give women access to productive land, so maybe in 10 years, 50 percent of the land is owned by women.”

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