Speaking at the Summit, The Mission Director for USAID Ghana, Kimberly Rosen, emphasized the importance of empowering women in agribusiness to unlock their full potential. She highlighted the U.S. Government’s support for Ghanaian agribusinesses through USAID and Feed the Future with over $204.47 million in financing for more than 33,000 agribusinesses.
” Agriculture is a major contributor to the development and growth of Ghana’s economy, contributing to gross domestic product, employment, food security and nutrition. Although women play a vital role in Ghana’s agricultural sector by providing critical value chain services in production, agro-processing and marketing, their access to business advisory services and commercial finance is limited. The Summit is however aimed at connecting women-led agribusinesses in the maize, soy, groundnut, cowpea, mango, cashew, shea, and other high-value export crop sectors to transaction advisors and financial institutions for support to access financing suited to their needs’’. She added
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon.Lariba Zueira Abudu, giving her keynote address stated that empowering women in agribusiness with knowledge, technology and access to finance will enable women to participate in household and community decision making and also effectively contribute to the national development.
‘’women make up almost 50% of our country’s population, we cannot make progress when half of the country is at a constant economic and social disadvantage ,as a government we are poised to ensure that no one is left behind in our struggle for gender equity, economic transformation, and national development. i however commend USAID and Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture Activity for providing business advisory services to women led agribusinesses in the country which is in line with government’s effort to ensuring gender equality .she added
The Senior Technical Advisor, Economic Growth at Palladium, Amanda Grevey also added that women are underserved when it comes to accessing finance, and also face lot of challenges such as insufficient collateral for bank loans, unfamiliarity with bank products and services and high transaction cost.
‘’Investing in women is critical for economic development and food security that is why Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity, work collectively with financial institutions, transaction advisors and strategic partners to develop innovative financing products for women to expand access to loans’ ‘she added
The ”Women in Agribusiness” summit held at the Kempinski hotel in Accra, under the theme:”Empowering Women in Agriculture through Enhanced Access to Finance”,brought together Over 500 participants from Agribusinesses, Transaction Advisors, Investors, Financial Institutions, U.S. and Ghana Government Representatives, Non-Governmental Organizations, Trade Associations, Research Institutions, Civil Society Groups, for the two-day event. The summit also featured plenary and panel discussions on finance and business advisory support for women-led agribusinesses, as well as business-to-business meetings that connected 85 women-led agribusinesses with investment opportunities in the maize, soy, groundnut, cowpea, cashew, mango, and shea value chains to transaction advisors, financial institutions, and investors for financing.