The awards scheme, which in the last five years, has gained momentum and credibility among agric stakeholders and development partner organizations, is committed to recognizing, empowering, celebrating and rewarding small-scale women farmers and Persons living with Disabilities, who are contributing to the growth and development of their communities, through their farming and agribusiness activities.
In a press statement, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa said, the awards, which moves across regions, has recognized and supported over 2000 smallholder women farmers and PWDs, in the Volta region, Ashanti region, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
She said while this year’s awards is positioning itself to improve, it will as usual recognize and reward women in the sector whose efforts highlight innovation, creativity, sustainability, climate-smart farming practices, social Responsibility, community engagement, resilience and perseverance, within the value chain.
Annually we shortlist and feature forty-five (45) women are nominated for the Gold in the Soil Awards Documentary. We select there (3) women from each of the fifteen (15) categories. We however make it a policy and mandate to award and support all persons with disabilities who nominated for the awards, as a reaffirming of our commitment to empower PWDs in the sector, she said.
The women are awarded in fifteen categories including, Super Woman Farmer Award, Passion for Farm Award, She Innovates Award, Climate Smart Women Project Award, Outstanding Woman in Extension Services Award, and Royal Agro Award. The rest are Diamond in the Rough Award. Feed to Foods Award, the Change Champion Award, Development Partner Award, the Lady of the Export Region Award, Star Woman Agripreneur Award, and the Princess Carla Award. The ultimate award is the Gold in the Soil Award.
In the coming month, the Technical Team of the Gold in the Soil Awards will be on the field, visiting to all 33 districts in the Eastern Region, to search for, and engage smallholder women farmers and PWDs, who will be nominated for awards. “We are therefore inviting the public, individuals and organizations to nominate women farmers who are excelling in their agricultural endeavors for any of the award categories. Online forms can be accessed on all social media platforms of Agrihouse Foundation. Hardcopy forms can also be accessed at KTU Radio in the Eastern Region and Eastern Regional Coordinating Council,” Ms. Akosa explained. The deadline for nominations is Friday June 02, 2023.
“We believe the Gold in the Soil Award is an important event that highlights the vital contributions of women farmers to the agricultural sector in Ghana. By celebrating their achievements, we hope to inspire more women to pursue careers in agriculture and provide them with the necessary support to succeed,” said added.
The awards receives an average of five hundred (500) nominations, annually. Out of the number, forty-five women are shortlisted and interviewed for the Gold in the Soil Awards documentary series, produced by Agrihouse. The documentary tells the inspiring stories of the agriwomen; highlighting their journeys and successes over the years, the impacts of their work in their lives and communities, she said.
In the last four years, Gold in the Soils Awards has recognized about seventy-five (75) women in agriculture, including twenty (20) with physical disabilities, who are thriving as farmers, processors, marketers, women into transport, packaging, Technology, input dealers, among others. They women, between the ages of fifteen (15) to seventy-five (75) years, cultivate ten (10) acre to 500 hundred (500) acres of farmland and grow crops like cocoa, plantain, palm nut, yam, Cocoyam, rice, maize, sheabutter, millet, among others. They grow livestock including goat, sheep, and poultry.
“Last year we received a good number of nominations in almost all categories, except climate smart farming, (CLIMATE SMART CATEGORY), the Lady of the Region Export Award Category and “She-Operator Award Category,” which received the lowest entries, with only 2.5% of total women submitting. We are paying extra attention to these categories this year, to ensure that we secure more nominations,” she said.
The Awards, is held as the second day event of the annual Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC). This year, the two-day event will take place from Wednesday, July 26, and Thursday, July 27, 2023, in the Eastern Region, on the theme, “overcoming barriers to agribusiness women development – the role of stakeholders”
WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is also in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) and National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG). RDF Ghana, YARA, Fidelity Bank, ABSA Bank, Global Affairs Canada, among others, have sponsored previous editions of the event.
For more information or to send in your nominations please visit :https://forms.gle/u1rahfp1EUvAbXXS7 :or contact Alberta :0244623012,Regina;0241371179 or Annibel:0544704684