Accra, Mar. 3, GNA – Agrihouse Foundation on Tuesday, launched the second Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Forum and Expo (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards to recognise and appreciate women making positive impact in the agricultural value chain.
The WOFAGRIC empowers women, promotes their works, expand their horizon, recognise their works and mentor them to venture into agriculture and all its lucrative value chain.
The Gold in the Soil Awards, on the other hand aims to recognise women pioneers and trailblazers who pushes the boundaries along the value chain to challenge the stereotype that made men the forefront actors in agriculture.
The WOFAGRIC and Awards ceremony, expected to be held on May 20 and 21, 2020 in Kumasi would be on the theme, “Transforming and Sustaining Women in Agriculture: The Role of Public, Private and Development Partners.”
The event would entail activities like showing documentaries, a session dubbed: “Aspire to be mentorship session (10:1)”, training and presentation on business opportunities for women in Agribusiness, awarding session and exhibition.
Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director, Agrihouse Foundation Ghana, said the awards were open to women involved in agriculture from every district.
She explained that there could be direct entries, or one could be nominated by filling out an application form online www.agrihousefoundation.com; or pick-up a form from the offices of Agri-house Foundation.
The first edition of the event held last year in Ho in the Volta Region recorded an attendance of 824 participants, from across the country, with 15 speakers, five facilitators and ten mentors, she said, and anticipated a better attendance this year.
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, a former first Lady, addressing the attendees said women’s participation needed to be enhanced in every sector.
She believed the journey of women empowerment was far from over, and more effort was required to increase the participation of women to boost the agricultural sector.
She called on all sectors to believe in the leadership abilities and capabilities of women, as they could move the nation from difficulty to strength and development.
The Reverend John Manu, the Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, said according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, if women worldwide had the same access to productive resources as men, they could boost agricultural production and help lift 100 to 150 million people out of hunger.
Though the crusade for women participation in various sectors of the economy had been faced with fierce cultural pillars, he said, it had largely chalked some triumphs and still does, especially in the Agricultural sector.
This, he explained, had manifested among others the formation of women groups in sectors and organization of the economy.
Naa Oyoe Sackey, the Assistant Director, Women in Agricultural Development Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said women were the key actors in Ghana’s agriculture, constituting over half the agricultural labour force, producing 70 per cent of the country’s food stock.
Women constituted 95 per cent of those involved in agro-processing and 85 per cent of those in food distribution.
Despite the contribution to the food system, she said, women were faced with several constraints, which were not limited to credit, land, labour saving devices, information, production and processing technologies, and business skills.
“For women to be able to break these barriers and deliver their mandate in the agricultural sector, there must be a positive transformation, which must be strategically sustained in the long term,” she said.