Since 2020, about 28,000 women-owned agribusinesses in the value chains of maize, soy, cowpea, groundnut, mango, shea and cashew have received support from the USAID-supported Feed the Future Ghana Mobilising Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity to access commercial financing to sustain and grow their enterprises.
The beneficiary women-owned agribusinesses constitute about 61 percent of agribusinesses that have received support from MFA to access financing. Dr. Victor Antwi, Chief of Party, MFA, disclosed this and said, from 2020 to date, the Activity has unlocked US$230.99million in finance for 46,651 farmers and agribusinesses including women-owned and youth-owned enterprises – highlighting that investment in agricultural value chains creates jobs, improve incomes and livelihoods, enhances food security and sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
He said: “Access to finance is critical to growth of the agricultural sector and economic stability. Farmers and agribusinesses need financing to buy seed and fertiliser to increase production; acquire or hire equipment to mechanise operations; purchase irrigation systems; invest in processing, warehousing, transportation, marketing, packaging and distribution; and undertake other activities to expand. Investment in these agricultural value chain activities results in job creation, improved incomes and livelihoods, enhanced food security, and sustainable and inclusive economic growth”.
He was speaking at a sensitisation seminar held at St. Louis Senior High School in Kumasi, to educate the youth on socioeconomic potentials in agribusiness. The seminar, dubbed ‘RETHINK’, is a collaborative initiative of the 2022 National Best Farmer and Chief Executive Officer of Siriboe Farms Limited at Juaben, Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe.
Themed ‘Exploring opportunities for Youth in the Agricultural Value Chain’, the agribusiness campaign seeks to inspire youths, especially females, to embrace agribusiness as a viable and profitable economic activity. The event attracted over 1,300 students from seven schools in Ashanti Region.
Dr. Antwi encouraged the students to think of and identify attractive agribusiness opportunities along the value chains as they pursue their education. “You can start trying your hands on farming and other ventures now. Opportunities for youth in agriculture are numerous, especially as we move from subsistence to modernised agriculture and embrace farming as a profitable business to meet growing demands from processors and exporters for large amounts of reliable, high-quality agricultural produce,” he said.
In an address, the 2022 National Best Farmer Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe encouraged the youth to leverage technological advancement and innovation to optimise the plethora of opportunities in the sector to improve their lives and society at large.