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.
This year’s thematic focus seeks to help the women build back better after making waves during the highest phase of the pandemic which crippled businesses, especially smallholder businesses.
Beneficiaries for the training forum and the awards are farmers, aggregators, buyers, input dealers, women groups, small women groups, women agripreneurs and traditional leaders (Queenmothers) and the targets are transporters, telecom, ICT, process, finance, development partners, agric value chain actors and stakeholders.
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.
Speaking at the media launch, Madam Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation observed that a greater percentage of women farmers have been left vulnerable to the economic storm of COVID-19.
She divulged that with the help of resource persons, partners and sponsors, the third edition was a success and has been able to get women farmers back on their feet whereas a high percentage of women have also been exposed to more opportunities and international investors.
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.
About 20% of the women farmers acquired state of the art farm equipment such as irrigation kits, solar pumps and tricycles among others to increase their yield by about 50% while 25% of women participants who were not into production have now ventured into processing with the skills training received during the event with about 1000 women groomed to take up leadership roles and their capacity built to drive them for growth and expansion.
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.