“When women have secure land rights, it empowers us to take charge of our own destinies, ensuring our voices are heard and our contributions are valued. It is through the recognition and protection of our land rights that we can actively participate in sustainable agricultural practices, combat desertification, and build resilient communities.” – Hajari Adams (Farmer, Ghana)
Desertification and Drought Day, observed worldwide on June 17th, highlights the significance of women’s land rights in achieving the interconnected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030. In this context, we explore the inspiring story of Hajari Adams, a 33-year-old married woman farmer from Goripie in the Wa East District of the Upper West region of Ghana. Her journey sheds light on the challenges faced by women farmers in terms of land ownership and the transformative support provided by Farmerline, a company dedicated to empowering farmers through education and assistance.
Challenges Faced by Women Farmers:
Hajari Adams’ experience as a woman farmer exemplifies the obstacles many face in their pursuit of sustainable agriculture. One of the primary challenges she encountered was limited access to a sufficiently large portion of farmland. The small plot size hindered her ambitions to invest more in farming, limiting the potential for higher yields and greater financial security. Furthermore, she faced difficulties and discrimination from landowners, which included the absence of fertilized land for farming, inadequate finance to procure farming inputs, and a lack of support from family members in farming activities.
Hajari also believes that patriarchal structures, traditional laws, and cultural norms have perpetuated inequalities in land ownership, particularly disadvantaging women farmers. Deep-rooted gender biases often prioritize male inheritance rights, leaving women with limited or no access to land. Traditional practices that favor male heirs reinforce a cycle of exclusion and perpetuate gender disparities in agricultural communities. Additionally, cultural norms and expectations often confine women to domestic roles, relegating their participation in farming to a secondary position.
The Farmerline Solution:
Amidst these challenges, Farmerline emerged as a beacon of support for Hajari Adams and countless other farmers. Farmerline is a company committed to educating and empowering farmers, helping them achieve higher yields throughout the seasons. Through Farmerline’s services, Hajari was able to seek assistance by simply dialing a short code, 399, to receive guidance on identifying and mitigating crop diseases or clarifying farming practices. Farmerline’s expertise and responsiveness have played a crucial role in equipping Hajari with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles and maximize her productivity.
Ensuring Equal Access to Land Ownership:
To truly address the issue of women’s land rights and foster gender equality in agriculture, several steps must be taken. Firstly, providing financial support to women farmers for land acquisition is essential. Accessible financing options can enable women like Hajari to expand their farming operations and establish a secure foundation for their livelihoods. Secondly, education plays a pivotal role in raising awareness among women about the importance of land ownership and their rights. Empowered with knowledge, they can assert their claims and actively participate in decision-making processes. Lastly, it is crucial to encourage family members to support women in farming activities. By fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity, the burden of farming can be shared, leading to increased productivity and better outcomes for all.
The Link Between Land Ownership and Poverty:
The lack of land ownership directly contributes to poverty in agricultural communities. Insufficient access to land deprives farmers of the opportunity to cultivate the desired area and limits their income potential. As a consequence, individuals are often compelled to migrate in search of more extensive tracts of land, disrupting communities and exacerbating poverty levels.
Addressing the Problem:
Addressing the issue of land ownership and empowering women farmers can alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development. Overcoming some of these systemic barriers requires challenging gender norms, advocating for legal reforms that grant equal land rights, and fostering inclusive social attitudes that recognize and value the vital role of women in agriculture. By addressing these structural inequalities, we can create an environment where women farmers have equal access to land, enabling them to contribute fully to agricultural development and achieve sustainable livelihoods.
Hajari Adams’ journey as a woman farmer reflects the challenges faced by countless women in the pursuit of their agricultural aspirations. However, through Farmerline’s support, she has been able to overcome these challenges and achieve greater productivity. On this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, we recognize the critical importance of women’s land rights, emphasizing the need for equal access to land ownership as a catalyst for gender equality and sustainable land management. By championing “Her Land. Her Rights,” we can create an inclusive agricultural landscape that empowers women farmers, drives economic growth, and safeguards our environment. Farmerline continues to serve as a transformative force in this journey, providing knowledge, assistance, and financial support, enabling women farmers like Hajari Adams to thrive.