The fourth Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards have been held in Takoradi in the Western Region to encourage more women to participate in the sector.
The two-day Agrihouse Foundation event had partners and sponsors, including Canada, Yara Ghana, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Women and Development (WIAD) and the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC), discussed ways to empower the woman farmer, especially those with disability.
The Conference on the theme: ‘‘Agriwoman-grow- recover- stand out” was used to discuss technical and field demonstration on how to use appropriate equipment, one-on-one mentorships, empowerment talks, case study presentation on modules and practices and hands-on educational opportunity for learning about farm safety, financial management, nutrition, markets, exports and investments.
In all, 300 women farmers, women -led agribusiness and women farmers living with disabilities took part in the two-day event.
The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, said she was excited that the Western Region played host to the fourth event, indicating that the Volta Region held it in 2019, Ashanti, 2020 and Upper East in 2021.
She noted that a series of events were lined up to empower the woman farmer with disabilities, grow the economy and improve livelihoods, especially among rural women.
Women with disabilities, she said , were making great strides in agriculture and that during a field visit to some farms, particularly in the Western North Region, some cultivated unimaginably, 100 acres of farms.
These hardworking farmers, she said, needed to be given the push to excel in their businesses and entrepreneurship.
The Agrihouse Foundation Executive Director said, for the past three years, the event had brought over 2,000 women farmers to acquire knowledge, ideas and relevant skills required for business expansion and development within the agri-value chain.
The programme has benefitted over 20,000 women directly and over 225,000 indirectly assisted to venture into various agribusinesses that cut across the value chain, she explained.
“This is a demonstration of a paradigm shift in agro- economy to influence policy and also ensure sustainable growth along the agribusiness value chain,” Ms Sarpong stressed, adding “in these two days, let’s leave here challenging ourselves to be best of ourselves-lets grow, let’s stand out. Let women make waves in Agriculture.”
The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana and Sierra Leone, Kati Csaba, said her country supported agriculture initiatives for women farmer-based organisations in post-production, processing and extension services.
There are also economic empowerment and gender equality specific programmes to help girls to realise their full human rights, she said.
Ms Csaba said, “You are the backbone of agriculture in your Regions and throughout Ghana. Ghana’s progress is being driven by your work, and I want to encourage you to continue, although I recognise the burden on your shoulders is heavy.
“Challenges may come your way as you face the hurdles, but, through perseverance and working together, I know you will be successful. History has shown that no nation can successfully develop without the active involvement of women. By helping to feed the nation, you are playing a critical part in growth and development.”
The West African Regional Director of Yara, Mr Danquah Addo-Yobo, described the programme as a drive to get more people into agriculture and that the Gold in Soil Award “is an opportunity to show that agriculture can be profitable.”