This year, Agrihouse Foundation will be guided by the theme ‘Our Year of Working Smart to Strengthen our Impact on Farmers and Value Chain Actors’, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, has stated.
According to the Executive Director, among other objectives the theme is expected to guide Agrihouse to strengthen its existing relationships with its stakeholders; and establish new relationships that will enable the team accomplish more socio-economic impacts within the country’s agricultural value chain this year.
“Working smart also means doubling our efforts; using all available channels to better tell our impact stories; scale up in areas where we are lacking, while driving new initiatives and building bridges to close existing gaps within the agricultural sector,” she said.
In the past seven years, Agrihouse Foundation has been at the forefront of promoting and changing the negative perceptions surrounding agriculture through tactical programmes and initiatives for students, women, farmers, farming associations, agribusinesses and the entirety of actors within the value chain.
The interventional projects and events focus on empowerment, grooming, leadership, best practices and management training programmes that lead to effecting positive changes in the minds, field and economic status of stakeholders, and in the communities where the organisation operates. Agrihouse Foundation further undertakes agri-focused exhibitions, trade promotions, research and communications, concept development and investor relations.
“The goal is to drive and shape the Agricultural conversations in Ghana and beyond. We have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the agric. sector, media overview and its dynamics,” Alberta noted in an interview.
She said the Foundation desires to create focused platforms dedicated to increasing innovation, communication and advocacy; and initiate highly impactful agriculture projects that cut across all players: men, women, students, farmers, governments.
“The Foundation works in close collaboration with its sister company, Agrihouse Communications,” she revealed. “We derive satisfaction in making agriculture lively, exciting and competitive. Our dedication to agriculture is our fuel, and we are excited to see people involved and committed to the projects we bring to life,” she said. The team at Agrihouse Foundation, with a combined experience of thirty years, is passionate about initiating and driving projects that address issues and challenges in the agriculture sector. These projects include the following:
Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance & Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD)
This practical beginners’ Agribusiness initiative is designed to develop agric students, beginner agribusinesses and start- up’ with expertise, while exposing them to dynamics of the market through education and leadership programmes essential for achieving success in agriculture and agribusiness.
In the past four years, AG-STUD-AFRICA, has benefitted over 1,000 agribusiness students and beginner agribusinesses to develop strong and bankable business plans. The bootcamp has empowered over 500 students from 30 different schools with entrepreneurship skills, and supported them with start-up capital to start their agri-businesses; about 250 beginner agribusinesses have been established by students who have participated in AG-STUD. This year, AG-STUD is expected to come off from March 28 to April 1.
Livestock Poultry & Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF)
The tradeshow aims to ensure all facets of the agricultural sector, including animal agricultural production, receive equal attention and resources. The annual event offers participants the opportunity to exhibit their products and services, engage in panel discussions and dialogues, and go through training sessions such as Livestock Training Session • Piggery Training Session• Rabbit Training Session • Cattle Training Session • Fisheries & Aquaculture Training Session • Grass-cutter Training Session • Snail Training Session.
Since the first edition, LiPF has engaged over 50,000 sub-holder farmers – with a significant percentage of them expressing interest in animal agriculture. Feedback received from the previous editions reveal that 87% of participants are very impressed with the event and want more training in poultry, piggery, rabbit, cattle, and piggery farms; 90% say that LiPF is a perfect introductory training platform for people who want to venture into animal agricultural production. This year, the two-day event has been scheduled to come off from May 5 to May 6.
Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards:
This project was designed and first implemented in 2019 by Agrihouse to enable women develop their agricultural skills, and motivate, mentor and build upon their capabilities to becoming independent. WOFAGRIC over the past years has helped shape and build many professionals in the field of agriculture, and importantly has been a source of women empowerment.
The two-part project has over the years acknowledged the industriousness of women in agriculture by awarding them through the Gold in the Soil Awards. This awards scheme goes a long way in motivating other women to venture into the field of agriculture business. 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.
About 7 of them won laurels at the district and regional levels, while 2 of them picked up awards at the National awards. Over 25% of participants are now thriving as agribusiness owners because of the agribusiness management training they receive during the events.
Most of the women have taken up leadership roles within their communities and regions as aggregators, NGO Founders, Women Farmer Organisation leaders, among others. In 2021, about 50% of women farmers recorded at the event managed 10 to 65 acres of farmland, and are between the ages 25-65 years – with a number of them being women farmers with a physical disability. This year, WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is scheduled to come off from June 22 to June 23.
Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions
The Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions is the only project that was handed down to Agrihouse Foundation by USAID, as part of the organisations exiting strategy. The event has become one of the leading and highly impactful interventional market linkage events on the Ghanaian Agribusiness calendar, providing long-term market development opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses. The award-winning market-linkage platform promotes business partnerships among value chain actors – especially farmers, buyers, processors, government, Development partners, transporters, input dealers, civil society, equipment dealers, financial institutions, telecom companies and policymakers.
Pre-Harvest culminates with conferencing events, presentations, exhibitions and market places for business-to-business meetings. It also serves as a dynamic platform for farmers to negotiate and seal contracts, and seeks to strengthen the capacity of Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs), Aggregators, Processors and value chain actors for them to play a key role as agricultural market actors. It further assists farmers and agribusinesses to expand their businesses before and after harvesting. The three-day event will come off from October 5 to October 7.
1 Household, 1 Garden Initiative (1H, 1G)
The 1 Household, 1 Garden initiative is collaterally intended to further scale-up government’s ongoing efforts to support families and communities to be more self-reliant, while its core objective is to provide Ghanaians a simple and easily accessible source of augmenting their daily food needs without often stepping out beyond their homes.
The 1 Household, 1 Garden initiative essentially aims at triggering a wave of self-sufficiency and enhanced nutrition through an ignition of interest in home gardening, in the wake of COVID-19, to mitigate the effects of poor food accessibility. The hope is that this national home gardening agenda will ensure a liberal supply of quality food to Ghanaians while waiting for COVID-19 to decline. Thus, Agrihouse assists households set up home vegetable gardens, provides training, seedlings of 12 assorted vegetables, fertiliser and gardening tools, and also provide some level of supervision to interested households.
International Farmers and Agribusiness Resilience and Sustainability Convention (INTAFAC)
INTAFAC seeks to bring together Farmers and members of the Agribusiness sector to influence transformation – with focus on public-private partnerships, investment opportunities; significantly raising the bar and creating an action-driven blueprint toward further agricultural development in the country. INTAFAC will set the stage for open and informed dissuasions and debates on major social, human and environmental obstacles which hinder the development of a buoyant Agri-economic, market resilient and self-sustainable Agri-institution.
The convention will engage Agri-leaders, players and experts from government; Farmer-based Organisations, development partners, Finance, businesses, technology, academia and other actors. They will share their knowledge and expertise on how the agricultural sector in Ghana can begin to focus, develop and adopt strategies, policies and techniques that will positively impact and scale-up efforts in building a sustainable, commercially viable and all-inclusive Agricultural sector. The event is expected to come off in March.
The Agri-Woman Marketplace
The marketplace seeks to support women Agribusinesses recover, grow and promote their farm produce, products and services. It provides free exhibitions and marketing space for the women to sell and promote their products and services, while opening up their access to markets. Fully sponsored by Agrihouse Foundation, the initiative empowers women-led agribusinesses as a way of helping them recover fully from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 200 women farmers and women-led agribusinesses have so far benefitted from the agri-woman marketplace event, which also offers opportunity for knowledge-sharing and capacity-building dialogues. The event has created networking opportunities for agri-women in areas such as farming, processing, packaging, marketing, IT service providers among others. This has led to an increase in their sales, with a number of them securing major deals with local and international companies that purchase raw and semi-processed agricultural produce. The event is expected to resume on the forecourt of Agrihouse Foundation in March this year.
AgriWatchgh News Portal and Mobile App
AgriWatchgh: AgriWatchgh is a agric-focused news portal and a bi-weekly newsletter platform of Agrihouse Foundation that updates stakeholders with agricultural news, issues and trends regionally, nationally and globally. You can get access to relevant and timely agric news at www.agriwatchgh.com.
AgriWatchgh News Portal was initiated in the early months of 2019 at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, when the Foundation noticed the dire socio-economic implications that spread of the virus was having on the agricultural sector in the country and beyond. A year down the line, AgriWatchgh New Portal has become a fast-growing, prominent news website among Ghanaians and international stakeholders.
AgriWatch News App: The fast-growing visibility and general acceptance of AgriWatch News Portal necessitated the design and implementation of the mobile news App. ‘AgriWatch News App’ makes accessing news on ‘AgricWatch News Portal,’ easier and more convenient for readers. The mobile ‘AgriWatch News App’ is on the Google Play Store. With these relevant and trustworthy news platforms, the Foundation seeks to continue expanding its communications portfolio and make agriculture-related news more relatable, exciting and friendly to all Ghanaians and agri-stakeholders across the globe.
This is the sister-company of Agrihouse Foundation, with personnel who have vast knowledge in Ghana’s agric sector. This background makes Agrihouse Communications the preferred corporate organisation serving the agric sector as well as the entire sectoral stakeholders. With our practical and experiential Public Relations expertise, Media Relations and proven Events Management, our company remains high on the list in this special niche. Agri-comms provides a broad range of communication service packages designed to deliver the best communication-derived successes to our clients – ranging from media relations, social media or digital communication, public relations, new media and result-oriented events.
Our Gratitude to Sponsors, Partners and Beneficiaries
Expressing her gratitude, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong noted that Agrihouse Foundation has never been alone on this journey of driving social and economic impacts and sustainability within the country’s agricultural sector. She therefore extended her immense gratitude to all corporate organisations and sponsors, organising partners and collaborating institutions, stakeholders and beneficiaries who have for years committed to the growth and sustainability of interventional initiatives designed and implemented by Agrihouse Foundation.
“This year we are going to work smarter,” she reiterated. “The team is set to scale-up on our initiatives to make more impacts in the lives of farmers and all other actors within the value chain.”