Madam Asumda, who hails from Zangeyire in the Upper East Region, deservingly took home the ultimate Gold in the Soil Award for her remarkable efforts as a woman farmer cultivating over twenty acres of rice and maize; and rears a number of cows, hundreds of small ruminants, including guinea fowls.
In the Gold in the Soil Awards documentary, produced by Agrihouse Foundation, as part of highlighting the initiatives of the nominees, she reveals has been working for the past 10 years in the agricultural sector, helping to train over 200 women in farming and agri-processing capacities.
She mentors women and employs a number of them who depend on the income they make to support their families. In view of her hard work, NBSSI collaborates with her as a service provider, ensuring that her products meet international standards, that enables her to export her products.
Annually, the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards, seeks to explore ways to empower women in agriculture, by empowering them through training and mentorship to help them develop, improve and sustain new agricultural practices.
This year the first day of the event focused on exploring ways to enhance women’s resilience and recovery from the effects of the pandemic, whiling helping them to develop their businesses within this pandemic era and beyond.
On the second day, deserving small-scale women farmers thriving exceptionally in their efforts were awarded with Gold in the Soil Award trophies, in addition to incentives such as knapsacks, fertilizers and water plumps essential for irrigation.
Emerging as the ultimate winner, Portia Asumda, took home the the ultimate price; a brand new tricycle to aid her transportation to and from her farm, including a trophy and incentives such as, bottles of fertilizers, irrigation pump, to be installed on her farm, a full piece of cloth, T-Shirts and a Certificate of Honor.
In a brief media interaction after the awards event, she expressed her immense gratitude to Agrihouse Foundation and sponsors for adjudging her the ultimate ‘Gold in the Soil Award’ Farmer, whiles congratulating all the other nominees who won in other categories. She said the recognition has encouraged and empowered her to be more focused as a woman farmer. Thus, she is looking forward to intensifying her efforts and be a blessing to more afri-women in her community.
The rest of the award winners in their various categories are as follows:
Passion for Farm— Portia Gban
She innovates— Gafaratu Fuseini
Climate Smart Women Project— Memuna Abdul Rahaman
Outstanding woman in extension services— Leuzumah Rashida
The super Woman Farmer— Alima Wahabu
Royal Agro— Ayiesheitu Mahamadu Asaki
Diamond in the rough— Saantuma Sala
Feed to Foods— Genevive Akugu
Change Champion Award— Asieme Elsie Azelikumah
Development Partner— Canada
Lady of the Export Region— Anita Sutha
Star Woman Agripreneur— Mavis Alahire Aboko
She operates— Joy okrah
Princess Carla— Hawawu Gbahara
Gold in the Soil— Portia Asumda
This year the Awards Scheme received 131 nominations from both Upper East and Upper West Region. Out of the number, 45 women were shortlisted and 14 awarded. A special Gold in the Soil award went to Canada as a development partner.
This year WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil Award was in partnership with Canadian High Commission, ABSA Ghana and YARA, INTERPLAST, OCP AFRICA, PEG AFRICA, LUMINANT ELECTRICALS AND RDF GHANA.
Collaborating Institution included, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) and the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG).
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.
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.