Mrs Mabel Quarshie, President of the African Women in Agribusiness (AWIAB), says inaccessibility to credit and inclusive finance remains a major challenge to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Agribusiness.
She, therefore, called for improving access to inclusive finance through credit facilities and increased investment to SMEs and start-ups for the advancement of Agribusinesses in the country.
Mrs Quarshie, a participant at the 8th Agrihouse Foundation Marketplace, a farmers’ market module designed for women, further called on the Government to develop deliberate and tailored policies to incite a collective focus on potential of women in the agricultural value chain.
The marketplace, among other objectives, was intended for participants to exhibit and sell their products with a broader focus on promoting women’s involvement in agriculture.
Mrs Quarshie, also the Director of Acquatic Foods Limited, who showcased grilled fish sausage at the exhibition, noted that “the aquaculture industry in Ghana is not growing as it should and because it is capital intensive, not so many people are willing to venture into it.”
She said her business, which started in 2018, like any other start-up, failed at inception but she persevered as she invested time for exhibitions and trade fairs, and commended Agrihouse Foundation for the continuous exposure, which had improved her sales and afforded her the opportunity to network.
Madam Alberta Akosa, Executive Director, Agrihouse Foundation, a non-governmental capacity building, innovation and project management organisation, said the Foundation was keen on addressing the challenges that continuously kept farmers and value chain actors from making strides.
For instance, she said the marketplace, the 8th in a series, organised on the last Friday of every month, was designed for farmers and others in the agricultural value chain to sell their products and improve market channels for agri-foods, network and experience sharing.
Participants exhibited products, including honey, locally produced rice, cereal mix, plantain chips, coconut flakes, potato flour, cocoa powder and butter, fruit juices, vegetables, herbal teas among others.