Agrihouse Foundation launches 5th WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards


Last week Wednesday, Agrihouse Foundation launched the fifth edition of the Women in Food and Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards in the Eastern Region. The event culminated in unveilling the prestigious Gold in the Soil Awards statue, and was attended by several dignitaries working within the agric value chain.

They included Madam Hajia Habiba, Regional Director of Agriculture; Dr. Comfort Acheampong, Coordinator for the Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat; and Queen mother Okyenhemaa Nana Adutwumuaa Dokua and her sub-queens. The rest are Madam Candace Holt, Second Secretary (Development), Global Affairs Canada; and Mr. Moses kobla Joshua, who represented the Eastern Regional Coordinating Director, Mr. John A. Donkor. Students as well as heads and members of women farmer groups were present at the launch.

Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa – overcoming barriers to agribusiness women development

In her welcome address, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Madam Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said this year’s event will mark another milestone in Agrihouse Foundation’s ongoing commitment to promoting agricultural development in Ghana. “We are thrilled to launch the 5th edition of WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards in the Eastern Region,” she stressed, adding that the event has become a symbol of recognition and inspiration, empowering agriculturalists and farmers across the country. “We believe this year’s edition will further motivate individuals and organisations to excel in their agricultural endeavours,” she said.

In partnership with Global Affairs Canada, Yara Ghana, RDF Ghana LBG, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, National Farmers and the Fishermen Winners Association, she said that this year’s two-day event has been set for 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

“As always, the event will serve as a platform to empower and honour women farmers, with a particular focus on women with disabilities who are making remarkable contributions to the agricultural sector’s growth,” she noted.

Dr. Comfort Acheampong – WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is for all Women Farmers

For her part, the Chairperson of the Planning Committee for this year’s annual WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards has urged women farmers, particularly those with disabilities, in the Eastern Region to seize opportunities presented by the prestigious event.

Her call to action aims to promote inclusivity, empower women and ensure that all agriculturalists, regardless of their circumstances can benefit from the WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards.

“This event is designed to honour excellence in agriculture, and we want to ensure that every deserving individual – regardless of their circumstances – has an equal chance to benefit from the recognition and support provided. So we encourage women farmers, including those with disabilities, in the Eastern Region to come forward and actively participate in the WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards,” stated the Chairperson.

John A. Donkor – Invest in Women in Agriculture.

In a speech, the Eastern Regional Coordinating Director, John A. Donkor, represented by the Coordinating Director, Mr. Moses kobla Joshua, said the annual Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards emphasise the need to invest in women in agriculture. He said the initiative shows that supporting agric women is not only a matter of social justice but also a strategic imperative for sustainable development.

Studies have consistently shown that when women have equal access to resources, education and decision-making roles, agricultural productivity and food security improve significantly, he stressed. He added: “Closing the gender gap in the region’s agricultural systems can unlock their full potential, leading to inclusive growth, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability”.

He said challenges such as gender-based discrimination, limited access to credit and land, unequal opportunities and underrepresentation in leadership positions continue to hinder women in agriculture.

The launch of WOFAGRIC therefore serves as a call to action for government, private sector entities, civil society organisations and individuals to increase support for gender equality in the agricultural sector and work toward dismantling these barriers, he noted. The Regional Coordinating Director expressed confidence that this year’s Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards to be held in the eastern region will shed light on these challenges and amplify calls for support.

Madam Candace Holt – Global Affairs Canada Remains Committed to Agric Development

Global Affairs Canada, represented by the Second Secretary of Development for Global Affairs Canada, Madam Candace Holt, also reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive support for the agriculture sector in the country by actively assisting and empowering women farmers.

Speaking at the launch, she highlighted the significance of WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards in promoting sustainable agriculture and empowering women farmers. She expressed Global Affairs Canada’s pride in their longstanding partnership with Agrihouse Foundation.

“Over the past five years, this collaboration has yielded remarkable results – driving positive change in the agricultural sector and providing essential support to women farmers and agribusiness professionals,” she said, emphasising the importance of providing financial services that enable women farmers to access technology and equipment, reducing the labour-intensive nature of post-production activities.

“This approach aims to enhance the productivity and efficiency of women farmers, ultimately improving their livelihoods and fostering economic empowerment,” she noted. Through the partnership with government and NGO’s like Agrihouse Foundation, Global Affairs Canada has been able to address barriers that hinder women farmers and agribusiness professionals from reaching their full potential. The support provided includes financial resources, technical expertise and capacity-building programmes.

Madam Candace Holt was therefore hopeful that this year’s event is going to be better, and said Global Affairs Canada remains committed to supporting the Agrihouse Foundation and its initiatives.

Hajia Habiba – We Need Concerted Efforts to Empower Agri-woman

The Eastern Regional Director of Agriculture, Hajia Habiba, emphasised the need for increased empowerment of women in agriculture. Speaking at the launch, she highlighted the importance of providing women with the necessary support and opportunities to excel in the agricultural sector.

She said Ghana’s agricultural landscape could witness a significant increase in women’s participation if they are given equal access and opportunities in agriculture. By recognising the invaluable contributions of women in the agricultural sector, she called for concerted efforts to empower and uplift them; thus enabling them to fully contribute in the country’s agricultural development.

During her speech, she also expressed her gratitude to the Agrihouse Foundation and its partners for organising the 5th annual WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards in the Eastern Region. She commended their efforts in recognising and celebrating the achievements of women farmers and agribusinesses.

Hajia Habiba urged all women farmers, including those with disabilities, to actively participate in the WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards. She encouraged them to showcase their work, expertise and contributions toward ensuring food security in the country.

She also reiterated the importance of empowering women in agriculture to achieve sustainable agricultural development, and called for collective efforts in creating an enabling environment that promotes gender equality and provides women with equal access to resources, training and opportunities in the agricultural sector. By so doing, Ghana can harness the full potential of its agricultural landscape and ensure food security for its growing population, she stressed.

Initiated five (5) years ago, WOFAGRIC annually creates a platform for Ghanaian women in agriculture to receive expert knowledge from resources persons, and exchange ideas, build networks and empower one another. About two thousand (2,000) women in agriculture in selected regions of the country have benefitted from soft skills, competence-based training sessions, mentorship, business plan development coaching, farm management skills, record-keeping and presentations on the latest trends, outlooks and innovations in agriculture.

The Gold in the Soil Awards in the last four years have recognised and awarded 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. The women-focused awards ceremony, which moves across regions, celebrates women in agriculture who are pioneers and trailblazers, pushing boundaries along the value chain.

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