Women farmers in Sunyani municipality to benefit from ‘Solar Hub’

August 24, 2021 By 0 Comments

The city of Sunyani

The Bono regional minister, Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene has underscored the need for the implementation of solar projects to empower women farmers in rural communities for poverty reduction.

She noted if rural women are economically empowered, they would be in a better position to engage in commercial farming as a business venture.

Madam Owusu-Banahene said this at a meeting with Plan International Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which has undertaken feasibility studies in two farming communities for the establishment of a ‘Solar Hub’ in the Sunyani Municipality.

Madam Owusu-Banahene indicated the establishment of the solar hub would greatly help women farmers to access ready markets for their produce, which would contribute towards job creations and the expansion of economic activities.

“The establishment of the solar hub is, therefore, a timely intervention to improve their economic level since it would serve as an information centre where green business products would be sold”, she said.

Madam Owusu-Banahene said the Sunyani Municipal Assembly has already incorporated solar hub management into the 2022-2025 medium-term development plan and allocated a budget for its implementation, including those who would manage the hub.

“The Assembly has also included a maintenance plan for sustainability of the solar hub during and after the closure of the WISE project”, she explained.

The Enterprise Development Specialist at Plan Ghana, Ms. Rose Aawulenaa said a six-member committee from her organisation, which works to increase the incomes of poor and vulnerable families in the country, has undertaken feasibility studies in two farming communities; Antwikrom and Kyeredua, for the establishment of a ‘Solar Hub’ in the Sunyani Municipality.
The establishment of the hub, according to Ms.Aawulenaa is in line with the implementation of her organisation’s Women’s Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise (WISE) project in parts of the country.

THE SOLOAR HUB

The Solar Hub is a fabricated kiosk imported from Germany which would provide relevant information on weather patterns, link women farmers to marketers, agro-processors and financial institutions, and Business Advocacy Centres (BACs) and also improve farmers’ connectivity to the internet and it would be managed by a hub volunteer at the community level.

THE WISE PROJECT

The WISE project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, is an intervention which seeks to improve the social position of women, create economic opportunities for them, increase their control over resources and decision-making in households, and community levels.

The project is using Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) as a means to mobilise women to build social networks and access financial resources through savings and loans.

The project is targeted at 12,641 women between 19 and 55 years spread across 150 communities in the Tolon and Kumbungu Districts as well as Sunyani, Tano North, and Techiman Municipalities.

The Committee Chairperson for Plan International Solar Hub, Ms. Belinda Bukari, regretted that perishable crops rot away in the communities because of lack of storage and ready markets for the produce.

She expressed appreciation to Madam Owusu-Banahene for her zeal, support and commitment towards the implementation of the WISE project and establishment of the Solar Hub in the Municipality and hoped the Municipal Assembly would commit enough resources to support the project to achieve success.