The 5th edition of the Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) & Gold In The Soil Awards will be taking place in the Eastern Region this year, 2023.
The women targeted event that is growing in popularity as much as it is transforming the lives of women farmers and women agripreneurs is slated for 26th – 27th July 2023, in Koforidua, Eastern Region.
It may be recalled that the maiden WOFAGRIC & Gold In The Soil Awards event was organized in Ho, Volta Region, 2019. Since then it has moved to Kumasi, Ashanti Region, 2020; Bolga, in the Upper East Region in 2021; and, in 2022, Takoradi, in Western Region, had its turn.
As the event is designed to give all Ghanaian women the chance to avail themselves of the developmental opportunities offered by the event, this year’s edition continues its tour of the nation and heads to Koforidua, in Eastern Region.
In partnership with Global Affairs Canada, the National Farmers and Fishermen Winners Association of Ghana, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Yara Ghana and RDF LG, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, the organizing institution, Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said that this year’s event will be a scale-up of what the event has been in the last four years.
“Over the past four years, the WOFAGRIC & the Gold In The Soil Awards has already tremendously helped to improve the productivity of over 1,205 women beneficiaries, with some already reporting great benefits,” the founder and the force behind the active and growth stimulating Agrihouse Foundation, Ms. Akosa, was quoted as saying in a press release just issued in Accra.
“For instance, from our efforts in the last four years, we have recorded impressive pro-active positioning of women impacted by the event in their decision making; we have witnessed increase in the size of their farms which has, in turn, improved their capacity to afford adequate raw materials for processing, construction and renovation of their houses. In addition, and quite heart-warming, the enhanced performance of these women now attracts the required appropriate extension services to help them improve both their yields and their incomes.
“So, in all, we see these positive developments resulting from our efforts so far, as an achievement worth celebrating and building upon, especially from the new insights gained in the course of executing our vision for the project. Consequently, this year’s edition will build on the gains of the past year.
The 5th edition of the WOFAGRIC & Gold In The Soil Awards event, as usual, offers agribusiness skills development, competence-based training, one-on-one Mentorship sessions, Empowerment Talks, Exhibitions, and awards.
Activities for the two-day top agri-women event that serves as a leadership building, and agribusiness skills development and competence-based training platform, shall kick-off on the first day with documentary viewing, Round Table Mentorship Dialogue, Corporate/ Stakeholder Dialogue, Development Talk, Competence-based Capacity Building Training & Presentation, and Soft Skills/ Leadership Training.
The second day of the event that is usually packed with training, enlightenment, agribusiness strategy impartation sessions, shall begin with an interactive Aspire-to-be Mentor Pair-up. This will be followed by an empowerment talk session; Fire in my Heart-Grace in my Soul, another empowerment talk forum; and a fascinating biographical documentary, Gold In The Soil documentary, that finally leads into the highlight of the day’s event, the Gold In The Soil Awards.
The Gold In The Soil Awards, the second part of the event, is a women-focused awards ceremony that brings to the limelight women working, thriving and excelling in the field of agriculture. The award recognizes pioneers and trailblazers; the women who push the boundaries along the value chain.
Identifying exceptional women who others can relate to via women-only awards is a step in providing the much-needed examples currently lacking in many traditional awards. The end-goal would be to have a level playing field among the genders, which is currently non-existent.
Agrihouse Foundation and its partners believe there is the need for a paradigm shift in this regard by illuminating and projecting women achievers in agribusiness. The Gold In The Soil Awards is beating the path to achieving just that.
The Gold in the Soil Awards has 15 categories. These awards categories include 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); and the Royal Agro Award.
Others are 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; She-operates; and the Gold in the Soil Award. Details of each of these awards shall be shared in subsequent press releases.
Underscoring another important aspect of the event, Ms. Akosa explains that “Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) pays tribute to women – young female ‘agripreneurs’, female students and women with disabilities – for their roles in ensuring food security, poverty alleviation, employment creation and ultimately helping the economy.
“So, generally, WOFAGRIC forms part of efforts to empower such women, promote their works, expand their horizon, recognize and award their works and further mentor and inspire other women to venture into agribusiness. That is why our emphasis is constantly on training, including leadership training and recognition and celebration of the hard working Ghanaian women farmer and agripreneur. Hence, the event provides that competence-based training platform that recognizes, encourages and empowers smallholder women farmers and women agripreneurs.”
The theme of the 5th edition of the WOFAGRIC & Gold In The Soil Awards – Overcoming The Barriers To Women Agribusiness Development: The Role Of Stakeholders – declares a clear interest in exerting the burden of responsible role-playing on stakeholders in breaking down, or removing, all identifiable barriers challenging the full realization of the potential of women in the field of agriculture.
“Indeed, the theme resonates with our long term goal to place women and People With Disabilities (PWDs) at the forefront and the center of agricultural development and food security. It should awaken our collective responsibility to facilitate the realisation of the potentials of our women and PWDs.
“We are confident that WOFAGRIC and the Gold In The Soil Awards is a key medium to impacting women in this direction,” Ms. Akosa assured.
Over the years, the WOFAGRIC and the Gold in the Soil Awards has offered a platform to honor and highlight the successes of women farmers, PWDs, and to demonstrate that women farmers equally have a lot to contribute to Ghana’s development agenda.
Women are especially crucial for the sustainability of Ghana’s agriculture sector, and deserve to be recognized and celebrated for the immense achievements and contributions they make in the country.
“We believe the time has come to take a long-term approach to provide solutions to the barriers women and PWDs face. We are confident that, when this is ultimately done well, and women given equal opportunities, then they would be unleashed to succeed and shine,” Ms. Akosa asserted.
Agrihouse Foundation expressed their gratitude to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Global Affairs Canada, YARA Ghana, RDF LG, and the National Farmers and Fishermen Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG) for their valuable support. They also expressed their expectation that corporate organizations in the private sector would align their corporate social responsibility goals and targets with the goal and objective of the WOFAGRIC & the Gold In The Soil event and extend their support to the program so that the hard working Ghanaian farming women can be supported in uplifting their families.