Household Farming in Ghana: A Gender Perspectiv

Sep 15, 2023 | Market Insights & Trends | 0 comments

Agriculture stands as the cornerstone of Ghana’s economy, with smallholder farmers being its heart and soul. Within this agricultural landscape, women, who make up 50.1% of the population, play an essential role. However, their contributions often remain overshadowed by societal norms and structural barriers.

The Significance of Women in Agriculture

In Ghana, while women represent a significant portion of the agricultural workforce, their roles are often confined by societal norms. These norms dictate which activities are acceptable for women, often relegating them to traditional, low-value, and labour-intensive tasks. For instance, although women are deeply involved in farming activities, men are typically seen as the primary landowners and decision-makers. This dynamic is evident when considering that only 30 out of 100 Ghanaian women farmers own land, compared to 70 men.

Challenges Faced by Women in Agriculture

Women in Ghana face multiple barriers when it comes to fully participating in the agricultural sector:

  1. Social Norms: Restrictive social norms often prevent women from engaging in formal agricultural value chains. Even in scenarios where women are the primary producers, they might not have the autonomy to make decisions or engage with formal market players.
  2. Lack of Access to Resources: Women farmers often lack access to essential resources, such as quality seeds, fertilisers, and farming equipment. This lack of resources hinders their productivity and earning potential.
  3. Digital Divide: The mobile gender gap further exacerbates the challenges women face. Digital solutions in agriculture, such as digital payments and procurement, offer immense benefits. However, women’s limited access to mobile phones and digital literacy means they often miss out on these advantages.

Empowering Women Through Digital Solutions

The digitisation of agricultural value chains in low- and middle-income countries is revolutionising the sector. Digital agriculture solutions, like digital payments and procurement, are creating efficiencies for both agribusinesses and farmers. However, there’s a stark gender disparity in the adoption of these solutions. In projects supported by the GSMA, less than a quarter of registered farmers are women.

To bridge this gap, it’s essential to adopt a gender-inclusive approach. This means understanding and addressing the unique challenges women face, from societal norms to digital literacy. By doing so, we can ensure that women are not just participants but empowered stakeholders in the digital agricultural revolution.

The Way Forward

  1. Gender Strategy: It’s crucial to define a gender strategy that guides interventions, ensuring they are sensitive to the unique needs and challenges of women.
  2. Creating an Inclusive Environment: Foundational interventions can help create a gender-inclusive environment. This includes understanding and addressing the barriers women face, from societal norms to digital literacy.
  3. Addressing Barriers: Targeted interventions can help address specific challenges, ensuring that women can fully participate in and benefit from digital agricultural solutions.


Women are the unsung heroes of Ghana’s agricultural sector. Their contributions are immense, yet often overlooked. By understanding and addressing the unique challenges they face, from societal norms to digital barriers, we can ensure that they are empowered participants in the sector. As Ghana continues to evolve and grow, it’s essential that women are at the forefront, shaping the future of agriculture in the country.

Citation Index

  1. World Bank. (2022). Female Population in Ghana.
  2. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Supporting Women’s Voices in Ghana.
  3. Gender Profile for Climate-Smart Agriculture Uptake in Ghana. CGIAR Report.
  4. Agrilinks. Why Women Are Key to Africa鈥檚 Food Systems Transformation. Website.
  5. GSMA. (2022). Reaching and Empowering Women with Digital Solutions in the Agricultural Last Mile. Report.



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