The third annual Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and the Gold in the Soil Awards have been held in the Upper East Region with a call for investment into women in agriculture.
Over the years, farmers in the country have been appreciated and recognized through farmer’s day celebrations but in most of the years, these recognitions and awards have been focused towards male farmers although women farmers play a very crucial role in the agricultural sector.
WOFAGRIC, therefore seeks to empower, strengthen and project women into the limelight and encourage them to remain focused with their participation in the sector.
The initiative is also meant to increase food production to enhance food security as well create job opportunities for more rural women in agriculture.
Speaking at the ceremony held in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region, The Regional Director for Agriculture, Francis Ennor, commended Agrihouse and the partners for the noble initiative in recognizing and awarding women in agriculture and inspiring them.
The two-day event organised by Agrihouse Foundation with support from the Canadian High Commission and the National Farmers’ and Fishermen Award Winners Association, was dubbed, “Women in Agric- surviving, thriving and making waves beyond the pandemic”.
The event deployed opinion sharing, focused group discussions, dialogues, panel discussions, mentoring and demonstrations, to train and build capacity of women farmers and agribusinesses.
Mr Ennor said, the region can boast of highly energetic industrious and interested women actively engaged in the production, processing, storage and marketing of agriculture products.
“The Upper West region gives priority to women activities and the agriculture department would not relent in supporting our women in agriculture. If you look at the budget of the various regional and districts agric departments, about 30 percent of our budget are for women in agricultural activities” he said.
He commended all award winners and urged them to continuously contribute to the sector’s development.
The Executive Director for Agrihouse Foundation Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa said, the event has laid a solid foundation, for women to recognize the essence of cooperatives.
The event she noted since its inception, has directly benefitted over 1036 women and indirectly benefitted over 12000 women in the sector; training and building their capacity in various ways, including accounting, book keeping, farm management as well best practices.
“It has also significantly increased and expanded the market reach of the women participants and introducing them to innovative and digital ways of marketing” she said.