Agrihouse Foundation has launched the fourth (4th) edition of the Women in Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and the GOLD in the Soil Awards in Takoradi in the Western Region.
The award which will be held under the theme, “Agriwoman: Recover – Grow – Stand Out” seeks to further drum home the point to put into a better perspective the role of women in the Agriculture sector and provide the platform and opportunities to better compete and be propelled to the zenith of agribusiness.
Speaking at the launch, Madam Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation said this year’s thematic focus will seek to help the women to build back better after making waves during the highest phase of the pandemic which crippled businesses, especially smallholder businesses.
She said building on the enormous success of the 2021 WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards, this year’s interventional program, to be held in the Western Region, has been designed to build the resilience and sustainability of women, whiles improving women’s access to, and possible control of resources, tools, business management, marketing and community building.
She pointed out that, WOFAGRIC seeks to empower women to make choices that seek to make them stand out among agriprenuers adding that the training and mentorship educational sessions are dedicated to strengthening women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise and other training sessions, which will foster branding, problem-solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women, among other opportunities.
This, she said they believe, will continue to contribute to, strengthen and empower women to improve their farming activities, agribusinesses, living conditions, and those of their families and communities.
“Our focus, post-COVID, is to support in building the needed resilience, support women adopt farm business strategies and appropriate practices, capable of supporting them, to withstand the challenges, increase access to extension services and other needed resources that will scale their incomes, nutrition and security”, she stressed.
Madam Akyaa indicated that WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards seek to tell the story of women farmers and businesses through a documentary series that dwells on passion, drive, excitement, challenges, and short and long-term vision in a way designed to inspire and mentor viewers.
It also recognizes and rewards pioneers and trailblazers – the women who push the boundaries along the Agric value chain and enables women to take up roles that help in the development of the Agriculture sector and the country.
It is to promote networking among women achievers in agribusiness and propel them to do more collectively, highlight the efforts of women agriprenuers, and to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the economic growth of their communities and country through a documentary.
She mentioned beneficiaries for the training forum and the awards as farmers, aggregators, buyers, input dealers, women groups, small women groups, women agripreneurs and traditional leaders (Queenmothers) and the targets as transporters, telecom, ICT, process, finance, development partners, agric value chain actors and stakeholders.
Recounting the impacts made over the years, she hinted that WOFAGRIC and The Gold in the Soil Awards have impacted the lives of many women in agribusiness and have as well influenced other women to venture into the business of farming.
She mentioned that through the initiative, they have been able to form cooperatives, which has enabled the women to train the youth in their various communities and that in 2021, 35% of the women farmers involved in the intervention accessed international markets.
Madam Akyaa said over the past few years, WOFAGRIC and the Gold in the Soil Awards through its capacity building sessions and interventions have addressed specific needs of women farmers in production, processing, packaging, mechanization, marketing, finance and ICT among others.
It has played an important role in mitigating the fallouts and accelerating the recovery process of women in agribusiness who were equally affected and largely hit by the pandemic which has been of high importance in recent times.
Mr Patrick Akowuah, Western Regional Director of Agriculture who spoke on behalf of the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah lauded the organizers for such an initiative since women farmers and value chain actors contribute immensely to the country’s agricultural sector.
He noted that women in the sector were marginalized and left with enormous limitations in the area of land tenure, transportation and mechanization services, access to loans, market and right pricing, quality input supplies and affordable agronomic services amongst others.
However, he said, they continue to thrive as women farmers and in the various sub-sectors of the value chain.
“I, therefore, want to thank the Agrihouse Foundation for taking up the course of celebrating our women agripreneurs, championing their growth and productivity. I’m not surprised that the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation is a woman. Now more than ever, women are supporting women, and it is commendable”, he indicated.