Agrihouse Foundation, in partnership with the Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), Women in Poultry Value Chain (WIPVaC), African Women in Agribusiness (AWIA) and African Women in Animal Resources, Farming and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N), will commemorate International Women’s Day with the theme, ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’
The celebration, expected to take place on Tuesday, March 8, in Accra, at the Korle- Klotey Municipal Assembly (Obra Spot) — Circle, would shine light on the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of Ghanaian women, with a call to action for accelerated women’s equality.
In a press statement, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong said, it is always a good time to celebrate the achievements of women, especially, the growth, successes and sustainable efforts of women working within the country’s agricultural spaces.
She said Ghanaian women continue to prove to be the backbone of the country with their resilience and incredible contributions in the fields of agriculture, academia, business, politics, education, medicine, among others.
“Agrihouse prioritizes the cultural and socio-economic empowerment of our women in agriculture. Our interventional projects including the Agriwoman Marketplace, the Gathering of the Royals, WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards; 1 Household, 1 Garden, are all geared towards providing marketing, exhibitions, networking, training and capacity building opportunities for women working in the agric space,” she noted.
As part of activities to mark the day, she said Agrihouse would be holding the 10th edition of ‘Agriwoman Marketplace’ at the Obra Spot, alongside the launch of the 3rd Anniversary of Women in Agriculture (AWIA), and launch of ‘Eggstra O Campaign,’ being implemented by Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), American Soybean Association (ASA) and World initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH).
The Director of the Department of Social Welfare will be Chairperson for the event, whereas Madam Louise Paris, Counsellor Development, Canadian High Commission, who would deliver the keynote address. Representatives of Ecobank, Ozeand the Food, drugs Authority and Peoples Persons Scheme would make short presentations. AWIA would be leading the group to visit selected maternity, antenatal and post-natal clinics to donate some hospital equipment and use the opportunity to educate the women on the importance of consuming eggs.
President of Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), Madam Comfort Kyerewaa Acheampong, said women are an integral part of national development and deserve to be acknowledged for their immense contributions. She said eggs are nutritious whole meals for all ages and encouraged parents to feed their children a lot of egg meals.
Women in Poultry Value Chain (WIPVaC), said the poultry sector is unfortunately beset with many challenges and thus, expressed the hope that this year’s International Women’s Day Celebrations would highlight these concerns, with concrete measures to support women poultry farmers in the country.
African Women in Agribusiness and African Women in Animal Resources (AWIA), called for more collaborative efforts and partnerships among Agriwomen in the country, as a sure way to ensure more growth and productivity among women within the agric value chain.
Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N), said women in leadership positions, especially within the agricultural sector should be underestimated, and therefore expressed the hope that issues such as inequalities in the land tenure system, poor road networks to and from farmlands, lack of capital and high interest rates of banks, poor market and inadequate processing centres would be highlighted during the celebrations.
With regards to ‘Agriwoman Marketplace,’ whiles commemorating International Women’s Day, the event would also throw light on the ‘International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste,’ commemorated globally on September 29, to reiterate the need to reduce food losses and wastage. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), since 2014, the number of people affected by hunger has been rising steadily; emphasizing that, the issues of Post-harvest Loss is a major cause of hunger and starvation in around the globe.
“Agrihouse would therefore be leading the commemoration of the day in September, to call attention to the issue of post-harvest losses, which is a big challenge in the agricultural sector. As stakeholders in the agric sector, I hope we can all mark the date and use it as an opportunity to rally more support for our women in agriculture,” she said.
Since March last year, ‘Agriwoman Marketplace’ has fully supported and empowered over 200 women led agribusinesses with a vibrant platform that allows them to network, exhibit and sell their produces as a way of helping them to recover fully from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event has created networking opportunities for agri-women, which has led to increase in their sales, with a number of them securing major deals with local and international companies that purchase raw and semi-processed agricultural produce.
For the upcoming 10th edition, about a hundred and fifteen (115) women-led agribusinesses have already registered for the event. They include women into vegetable production, yam and tuber farming, grains and cereals. Others are also into processing groundnut paste, shea butter, Moringa, neem, coconut, castor oils, whiles the rest are into food, IT, finance, communications and marketing services.
“It promises to be a fun filled day event with activities like Musical Chairs, All Day Exhibitions and Food Bazaar. There would be Grills, Eggs, Chicken, Pork, Rabbit, and Fish sausages on sale, with music and lively interactions. I would encourage everyone to be there; come have fun and support our women in agriculture with your purchases,” Alberta said.