Agrihouse 2021: Our year of building resilience, market and ensuring sustainability

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Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa

COVID-19 continues to battle all aspects of our Ghanaian economy, not sparing the agricultural sector, which we have described in many instances, as our national backbone and lifeline. The fact is, all African countries are being adversely affected by the pandemic, as, continent-wise, 60 percent of the population is employed in agriculture.

According to some projections by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Africa’s GDP growth is set to slow down and is likely to drop from 3.2% to 1.8%.  What this means is that, there are chances the continent shall witness real and heartbreaking increases in the number of people living in extreme poverty and hunger in Africa.

But should this be the case? What measures can we on the continent start putting in place, in line with our food production and security to avert this projection? Now more than ever, these conversations must be dominant in our media, to put pressure on our leaders and to ensure that they are putting in place the right measures and investing appropriately in our agricultural sector to protect our food security.

As a frontline entity in agribusiness, promotions and advocacy in Ghana, this year, Agrihouse Foundation is keenly focused on scaling up on all its projects, having in mind the agenda of food security and how to cultivate resilience among agriculturalists in the country, especially, young people who are passionate and are determined to build careers alone the agricultural chain.

How Agrihouse is Scaling Up in 2021 to Ensure Food Security

A quick look at the 2021 Agrihouse project’s calendar gives you a clear sense of where the organisation is heading this year; to building resilience, market and sustainability with all the projects it’s seeking to champion in this year. The strategies outlined clearly show the impacts the organisation is gearing up to achieve with these projects by the end of the working cycle. It is for this reason that Agrihouse Foundation continues to advocate and call on all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to be part of its vision of making farming lucrative, and to ensure that its initiatives are socio-economically, impacting on the lives of Ghanaians positively.

Overview of 2021 Activities Calendar

 Agricultural   students’ Career Guidance & Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD)— 5th – 9th April

This event is a practical beginner Agribusiness initiative designed to develop agric students, beginner agribusinesses and start- up’ expertise, while exposing them to the dynamics of the market, through education and leadership programs essential for achieving success in agriculture and agribusiness. AG-STUD promises to be a well-organised and interactive event that brings together students from senior high schools and agricultural colleges, farm institutes, start-ups and beginner agribusinesses, from across the country, to enlightened, coached and mentored by educators in the agricultural sector. The project focuses on developing youth and student’s leadership skills; discussing challenges and opportunities in the corporate world of agribusiness; and engaging in practical sessions that incorporates developing and pitching business ideas and farm management skills.

 Livestock Poultry & Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF)— 14 – 15 of May

Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries production are important components of the agricultural sector, yet little attention is paid to them. Consequently, their overall contribution to the economic growth of the country is often underestimated. Livestock production is said to account for about 14% of the agricultural Gross Domestic Production (GDP) and is also a major source of income for the most farmers, especially subsistence farmers in the country. Despite these contributions to the economic growth, Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries does not have a platform that addresses the substantial issues and challenges that confront the sector.

Such identified inadequacies motivated Agrihouse to create the Livestock Poultry & Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF), in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The tradeshow aims to ensure that all facets of the agricultural sector receive equal attention and resources. The event, therefore offers participants the opportunity to be introduced to the technological advancements in the sector and how to add value to their animals and animal productions, in order to increase their life span and productivity. This year LiPF promises to be engaging as always, with training sessions like exhibitions • Panel Discussions and Dialogues • Competence Based Training Sessions: • Livestock Training Session • Piggery Training Session• Rabbit Training Session • Cattle Training Session • Fisheries & Aquaculture Training Session • Glasscutters Training Session • Snail Training Session.

Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) & Gold in the Soil Awards— 23rd June

Agrihouse’s Women in Food and Agric Leadership Training Forum & Expo(WOFAGRIC) is an expert opinion sharing, mentoring, training, coaching, networking and learning platform for women in agriculture, including, smallholder, commercial, aggregator, buyer, beginner, processor, marketer, ICT, among others. WOFAGRIC forms part of efforts to empower women, promote their works, expand their horizon, recognize and award their works, and further mentor and inspire other women to venture into Agribusiness. The event serves as platform that recognizes and empowers small holder women farmers through competence demonstrations and soft skills, they can employ in agribusiness; gives them a voice and provides market intelligence like price information, training and skills needed to improve their business performance.

The Gold in the Soil Award—  24th June

The Gold in the soil awards is a women-focused award ceremony that promotes, strengthens and Motivates a paradigm shift in projecting women achievers in agribusiness, through the recognition and celebration of women pioneers and trailblazers, who push the boundaries along the agribusiness value chain, especially at the community, Districts and regional levels, within and across the country. The event highlights women who are working and thriving in the field of agriculture. Through the awards scheme, it recognizes a number of such women who are push the boundaries and making impact in the sector. Through a series of documentaries, their stories are told to reveal their passion, drive, excitement and challenges as they strive to make a difference. Participation cuts across smallholder women, rural women, women achievers, ‘agriprenuers’ and youth in agriculture. It runs alongside WOFAGRIC.

International Farmers and Agribusiness Resilience and Sustainability Convention (INTAFAC)— 22nd July

The International Farmers and Agribusiness’ Resilience and Sustainability Convention (INTERFACS) sets an ideal stage for open and informed discussions on important around social, human and environmental obstacles that hinders Agri-economic, market resilience and self-sustainable Agri- institution in the sector. INTERFAC is therefore here to assess the short, medium and long-term performance of the main agricultural subsectors (livestock, Poultry, crops, and fisheries, aquaculture), including production, agro-processing, warehousing, storage, forestry, transportation, Finance, climate, ICT and their contributions to livelihoods, and build a market resilience and self-sustained eco-system.

The platform will equally analyse the sector’s major development challenges, potential for growth, policy and institutional reforms, donor drive, marketing and investment options. It will draw on the voices of Agri-leaders, experts, government, farmer based groups, children, development partners, academia, youth and the Media to generate opinions and urge active social participations in matters of economic growth and development.

Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference & Exhibitions— 12th – 14th October

The Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions 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 policy makers. Pre-harvest culminates with conferencing events, presentations, exhibitions and market place for business to business meeting; It also serves as a dynamic platform for farmers to negotiate and seal contracts; strengthens the capacity of Farmer Based Organizations (FBO’s), Aggregators, Processors and value chain actors to help them play a key roles as agricultural market actors, before and after harvesting.

Agrihouse Agri-Woman Marketplace— Every Last Friday of the Month

 Agrihouse Agri-woman marketplace is a monthly farmers market designed to scale-up our ongoing efforts to support women agribusinesses explore innovative means of selling and marketing products and services of women agribusinesses during COVID-19 and beyond. The Agrihouse Monthly Farmers Market is in direct response to the “call to Action” by over 10, 000 women farmers, belonging to different Farmer Based groups, in their quest for us, to create and establish a grounded market platform, that will essentially get them to promote, market and sell off their produce from their respective farms, beyond our annual programs and also beyond open markets. With this new project, Agrihouse is championing a community support agriculture transformational program, that seeks to drive innovative sales and marketing for women in agriculture.

AgriWatch

AgriWatch is a bi-weekly news portal and newsletter platform of Agrihouse Foundation that updates all stakeholders with agricultural news, issues, and trends regionally, nationally and globally.

1 Household, 1 garden (1H,1G)

The 1 household, 1 garden is an initiative 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 need without often stepping out beyond their homes. The 1household, 1 garden initiative essentially aims at triggering a wave of self- sufficiency and enhanced nutrition through the ignition of interest in home gardening. Agrihouse therefore assists households to setup home vegetable gardens; provide training, seedlings of 12 assorted vegetables, fertilisers and gardening tools, and also provide some level of supervision to interested households.

In light of all these projects, Agrihouse Foundation is poised and ready for more collaborations that aim to empower farmers, encourage more young people and household to take up agriculture, and together, ensure our food security as a nation.

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