Agrihouse Foundation, in partnership with Canadian High Commission, ABSA Ghana and YARA, is set to launch the third edition of the Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards, Tomorrow, March 23.
Other organizing partners include, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), and National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winner’s Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG),
The theme for this year’s 2-day event is ‘WOMEN IN AGRIC – SURVIVING, THRIVING & MAKING WAVES, BEYOND THE PANDEMIC’ and is scheduled to take place in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
According to the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, this year, Agrihouse is receiving nominations for the Gold in the Soil Awards, from both Upper East and Upper West Region.
She said this is the first time the Foundation is opening up nominations in such a way, to allow more women from culturally diverse backgrounds an opportunity to participate in the awards scheme.
She said since 2019, WOFAGRIC has helped shape and build more career women in the field of agriculture in their various rural areas and communities, “The event continues to be a source of women empowerment, acknowledging the impressive works being done by women and awarding them. This goes a long run to motivate other women to venture into the fields of agriculture business,” she noted.
In 2019, almost a quarter of the nominees for the Gold in the Soil Awards made entries into the National Best Farmers Award Scheme at district, regional and national levels with about 7 of them winning laurels at the district and regional levels whist 2 of them picked up awards at the National awards.
Also, attendees received training on proper management and book keeping. A follow up evaluation carried out 3 months after the event revealed as a result of this, some of these women have now been able to access loan facilities to support their farms and businesses. Information and guidance provided by the Netherlands embassy and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) equipped some of the women farmers on the standard procedures, best practices and how to go documentations to export their produce. This has helped about 13 women to start the process to go into exportation.
In 2020, the second edition of WOFAGRIC took place in the Ashanti Region, Kumasi, under strict COVID-19 protocols to avoid spread of the virus. At the end of the tw0-day event, 25 % of women who were not into agribusiness but attended the program had decided to start up their own agri-projects, as a result of the competence based training and soft skills, they had acquired; about 900 women were groomed to take up leadership roles and build their capacities, to drive them towards growth and expansion of their agribusinesses.
Touching on this year’s event, in line with the theme, ‘WOMEN IN AGRIC – SURVIVING, THRIVING & MAKING WAVES, BEYOND THE PANDEMIC’ Ms. Akosa said, WOFAGRIC seeks to enable women in agribusiness develop, improve and sustain new agricultural practices and as well thrive to develop their business within this pandemic era and beyond.
“This year’s event is going to be bigger and better; more practical, especially in this time of COVID-19. We want to build the resilience of our agri women and ensure that in this critical time, they don’t just survive as agriprenures, but also thrive now and beyond the epidemic. The event activities this year is expose them to practical competence-based skills in bookkeeping; applying for bank loans; farm and agribusiness management skills; and the need to be part of corporative groups. Also, our women doing great work in the agric sector, and this year as usual, our Gold in the Soil Awards will highlight a number of them, celebrate and use them as a source of encouragement for other Ghanaian women who have interest in agriculture and are thinking about venturing into the sector,” she stressed.
The Gold in the Soil Awards
The Gold in the Soil Awards, which is the second part of the WOFAGRIC event, is a women-focused award ceremony that promotes, strengthens and motivates women achievers in agribusiness. The awards scheme seeks to recognize and celebrate pioneering women and trailblazers who push the boundaries along the agribusiness value chain, especially, in our communities, districts and regional levels, within and across the country.
The awards scheme is made up of 15 categories, including: Passion for the Farm Awards, She-Innovates Award, Climate-Smart Women Project Award, Outstanding Woman in Extension Services Award, The Super Woman Farmer Award, Star Woman Agripreneur Award (Woman Agripreneur Award), Royal Agro Award, Diamond in the Rough Award, Feed to Food Awards – (Poultry, Livestock & Fisheries), The Change Champion Award, Lady of The Region Export Award, Development Partner Award, Princess Carla Award, Gold in the Soil Award, and She-Operate s Award.
About Agrihouse Foundation
Agrihouse Foundation is a non-governmental agricultural capacity building, innovation and project management organization, with a special focus on changing the perception of, and consciously shaping the conversation around agriculture.
In light of this, we undertake a number of agricultural interventional projects and events, all year round, for our farmers, agric students, agribusinesses, households into backyard farming, among others.
Our projects include, Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogues Bootcamp (AG- STUD); Livestock Poultry & Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF); Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards; International Farmers & Agribusiness’ Resilience and Sustainability Convention (INTAFAC), Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions; The Agrihouse Agri-Woman Market Place; Agri-Watch; 1 household, 1 Garden Initiative (1h,1g).