KIC Agritech Challenge Winner Encourages Women To Venture Into Agriculture

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Tracy Bawa
Tracy Bawa

Ms. Tracy Rashida Alhassan Bawa, a 2021 winner of the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) Agritech Challenge, has encouraged fellow young women to develop an interest in agriculture and leverage the KIC programs to develop businesses in the agricultural sector.

She said the Agritech Challenge competition was a great and rare opportunity that young women should take advantage of to grow entrepreneurial ventures in agriculture.

Ms. Alhassan was speaking at the sidelines of the KIC Women’s Bootcamp held at the SDD University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (UBIDS) over the weekend.

“I encourage anyone and everybody to apply for it, get into it, subject yourself to teaching and one most important thing is, by the time you get into the program, the money would no longer be the goal but the goal would be how to improve yourself,” she said.

She urged the young women to identify their passion areas within the agricultural value chain seek relevant knowledge of those areas and apply to the program with optimism.

“My advice is that keep seeking knowledge and when you’re seeking knowledge, try and apply also wisdom because wisdom would enable you to be wise, wisdom would enable you to actually implement that knowledge and bring that knowledge into fruition,” she admonished.

She added that young women should be passionate about what they do and not stop at their challenges as she said, “The only thing that would keep you moving is the passion, resilience, and wisdom.”

Ms. Alhassan, who is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of BOOD Company Limited, said the BOOD Company was properly established through their participation in the KIC Agritech Challenge competition in 2021, two years following its registration.

The BOOD Company is based in the Upper West Region and is into the commercial production of cereals and legumes under conservation agriculture.

BOOD also runs ingrower and out-grower farm models that facilitate farmers’ access to quality agricultural inputs, and training on good agronomic practices, including technologies for cultivating crops on well-prepared lands under conservation agriculture.

Kic Agritech Challenge Winner Encourages Women To Venture Into Agriculture
Kic Agritech Challenge Winner Encourages Women To Venture Into Agriculture

Ms. Alhassan indicated that the company, now present in Jirapa, Wa West, and Sissala East districts, was initially within only the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa (DBI) district and mainly into cashew plantations.

However, following their participation in the Agritech Challenge, she said the pieces of training and mentorship opened them to other opportunities which made them diversify their services and revenue streams including ingrower model schools, outgrowers, and biochar production among others.

She said the company aims to build a very robust supply chain within its systems from production to consumption to ensure food security, improved nutrition, and climate resilience.

Prof. Stanley Dary, the Faculty Advisor of the KIC Agritech Challenge at the SDD UBIDS, said the 2024 Agritech Challenge targets an improvement in the number of female participants from that of the previous years which were mostly dominated by males.

“KIC and their partners, Mastercard Foundation are more particular about women so, that is why this year, we are targeting about bringing 50 percent women, 50 percent men.

“In the past, it has always been dominated by men and we want to demystify that, that look, women have the potential, they have the capabilities,” he said.

He said the boot camp aimed at motivating young women to challenge the status quo in pursuing agricultural ventures just like men do.

Prof. Dary also encouraged the young women to apply to the KIC Agritech Challenge competition to benefit from the capacity building and seed funding to enable them to start their businesses.

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