Madam Lydia Sasu, the Executive Director of Development Action (DAA), a farmer based organisation stressed the importance of adopting safe and sustainable fishing methods and processing techniques, during the 2016 World Rural Women's Day (WRWD) held in Apam, organised by the DAA, an implementing partner of the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP).
"It is in this light that the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP) - a 5-year food security project that focuses on assisting the Government of Ghana to achieve her fisheries sector development objectives of poverty reduction and hunger has seen the need to observe this day to draw attention to the needs of avoiding unwholesome fish caught through unapproved methods and processing,” she explains.
Fishing activities along the coastal belt have become a great concern to the government, policy makers as well as development practitioners due to usage of chemicals such as detergent, dynamite, DDT by fishermen to in their duties.
Madam Sasu called on fish processors and consumers to consistently demand for quality fishes devoid of chemical contamination to promote effective wellbeing, at event on the theme, ‘Say No to Bad Fish – My Role’.
The event held every 15th day of the month of October annually, is a practical way of recognising the multiple roles that rural women play, including indigenous women who are mostly farmers, fish processors and small-scale entrepreneurs in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
Rural women are key agents for achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development, Madam Sasu states. "But limited access to credit, health care and education are among the many challenges they face, which are further aggravated by the global food and economic crises and climate change, ” she adds.
Madam Sasu emphasises that ensuring women empowerment is key not only to the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities, but also to overall economic productivity, given women’s large presence in the agricultural workforce worldwide.
"The DAA is concerned that the rural woman’s inaccessibility to land may offset the gains being made by the SFMP relative to improvements in post-harvest processing and livelihoods of women,” Madam Sasu emphasises.
According to her fishing is a major economic activity in Ghana, especially among communities that live along the coastal line.
Read the full story by Samuel Hinneh on Modern Ghana here.
Pictured: Lydia Sasu - Executive Director of DAA