Janet Adade

Madam Janet Adade, a 46-year-old farmer from Akpafu Odomi in the Oti region, has received the 2020 “Game Changers – Women in Agriculture” award.

Madam Adade, the only Ghanaian, and six others from Togo, India, Benin and South Sudan have been celebrated as women who made the difference through their potentials for advancing rural development as well as their outstanding contributions to agriculture.

With this award, we honour courageous rural women who have changed the traditional rules of their society and who, despite great resistance, show that women are essential for sustainable development and societal progress,” said Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and patroness of the award.

Madam Adade, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), expressed gratitude to the BMZ and GIZ for the recognition and promised to make good use of the opportunity given her.

“My long-time desire to help rural and underprivileged women triggered my motivation to relocate from the city to the village. Growing up in a rural community, I witnessed many disadvantages and abuse that women go through.

Many women lacked confidence, education, ability, and economic empowerment to fight for their rights. For the past ten years, I have dedicated myself to mobilising women in communities surrounding my village to fight for our common goals and welfare.”

She said: “I am proud to say that I have been able to reach about 1000 women for various interventions in agricultural related activities.”

Madam Adade’s work and advocacy have influenced the formation of women groups in processing and farming, training of several women in nutrition and rice parboiling has caused a change in how women involved in the processing have improved on the quality of their products. Her mentorship of young farmers, both male and female have recorded improvements in outputs and marketing of their produce.

Her actions led to the formation of MADOWOFA; an all-female processing group that champions rice parboiling within Hohoe and other districts in the Oti Region. The group also invests in packaging materials that have made their products attractive to urban and peri urban consumers.

Madam Petra Bentkämper, President of the German Land Frauen Verband, described Madam Adade as an extraordinary woman with a good-know-how about cultivation, refinement, and marketing of rice.

“She is also a very successful and exploiting the entire value chain in rice production. I have great respect for her commitment to regionalism on the marketing of refined rice using the parboiling process and her special skills as a networker.”

“Game Changers – Women in Agriculture” was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) has been commissioned by BMZ with the implementation and coordination of the initiative.

Madam Marjeta Jager, DG DEVCO and Jury-Member noted that “across the world, the role of women in agriculture is crucial. Yet, women are widely discriminated against when it comes to land rights, participation in policy-making, decision-making and access to finance and resources. However, there is also some good news.

“We see an increased number of women in taking the lead in sustainable food production and the diversification of the agricultural value chains.”

She said the “Game Changers – Women in Agriculture” initiative by GIZ was an amazing way to celebrate the “remarkable women.”

The seven award winners will each receive sponsorship to further education and training measures worth EUR 1,500. The rest of the award winners are Krishna Radha, and Ramwati Adiwashi both from India, Euphrasie Dassoundo Assogba, Benin, Akech Manyuat Gong, South Sudan, and Juliette Pyalo Sebou, and Bariétou Agbere, both from Togo.

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