To ensure that Ghanaian Women Farmers grow and expand with the agricultural value chain, government must award them contracts and procure their produce and agri-products, a Development and brand strategist has noted.
Mr. Prosper Ahmed Amuquandoh, who was speaking at opening of the 3rd Women in Food and Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC), and Gold in the Soil Awards, ongoing in Bolgatanga in the Upper West region, said government must buy seeds and crops produced by Ghanaian women farmers and ensure to pay them in time when purchases are made.
He said it is one of the integral ways to push the Ghanaian woman forward and ensure her sustainability and growth in the agricultural sector.
He said development partners, banks and non-governmental organizations invested in agriculture, like Agrihouse Foundation, must also strive to do more for women farmers in the country, by giving grants, loans and incentives.
He also urged the agri-women present to produce quality produces and products that can meet international standards, and “avoid cutting corners,” he stressed.
He said being reliable, dependent, and excellence are standards Ghanaian agri-women must also strive to attain, adding that, they must as a matter of importance, involve their children in their farming activities as well.
About WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil Awards
The theme for this year’s WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is, “Surviving, Thriving and Making Waves beyond the Pandemic,”
The two-day event explore ways to enhance women’s resilience and recovery from the effects of the pandemic. The event will enable women in agribusiness develop, improve and sustain new agricultural practices, as well as develop their business within this pandemic era and beyond.
Apart from the ‘Super Woman Farmer Award‘ there are other fourteen categories of the award scheme up for grasp. They include: She-Innovates Award, Climate-Smart Women Project Award, The Change Champion Award, Lady of The Region Export Award, Development Partner Award, Princess Carla Award, She-Operates Award, Outstanding Woman in Extension Services Award, Star Woman Agripreneur Award (Woman Agripreneur Award), Royal Agro Award, Diamond in the Rough Award, Feed to Food Awards – (Poultry, Livestock & Fisheries) and the ultimate, Gold in the Soil Award.
Out of the 45 women shortlisted, 15 women will be recognized and awarded, in the15 categories. The rest of the agri-women will receive consolation prizes ranging from fertilizer knapsacks to irrigation materials and pumps.
The GOLD In the Soil AWARDS, is an annual awards scheme, solely dedicated to contribute in strengthening and projecting a paradigm shift of celebrating women farmers, processors, marketers and women who are playing a role within the agricultural value chain, including women into Transportation, packaging, Technology, input dealers, etc.
The Awards moves from Region to Region yearly to search for these extraordinary women who contribute significantly to putting food on our tables daily. Their story is shared and broadcasted through a documentary series produced by Agrihouse Foundation.
The Women in Food and Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards, is sponsored by Canadian Embassy, YARA, ABSA GHANA INTERPLAST, OCP AFRICA, PEG AFRICA, LUMINANT ELECTRICALS AND RDF GHANA.
Collaborating Institution include, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) and the The National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG)
Impacts of WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil Awards
Since inception three years (3) ago, WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil awards has impacted the lives and businesses of women in the agri-business space. So far 25% of women participants who were not into Agribusiness as at the time they attended the event, have now ventured into agribusiness. Similarly, about 900 women who were groomed to take up leadership roles have had their capacity built up to push for growth and expansion at the grassroots.
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 whilst 2 of them picked up awards at the National awards.
The training offered on proper management and book keeping have proven impactful. A follow up evaluation carried out 3 months after each event reveals that, past participants have been able to access loan facilities to support their farms and businesses. Furthermore, 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.