Ghana’s quest to recognise the contributions of women to the growth of agriculture in the country has received a boost with the launch of the maiden Women in Food and Agric Leadership Forum and Expo (WOFAGRIC).
The programme on the theme,’Women! Key partners in shaping agribusiness’ is being organised by Agrihouse Foundation and sponsored by the Canadian government, Yara, ADB and Interplast.
Slated for Ho in the Volta Region from June 12 to 13, the programme is expected to attract 500 women in all the agriculture value chain, development and donor partners, government representatives and players from the private sector.
Speaking at the launch in Accra on Wednesday, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Akyaa Akosa said women continue to play significant roles to the growth of the agriculture sector in Ghana and needed to be recognised and celebrated.
The Executive Director explained it was in that direction that the WOFAGRIC programme was being organised to pay special tribute to women and reward them for their efforts.
“The WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is an event … to pay tribute to the efforts and contribution by women, young female “agripreneurs”, female students and women with disabilities for their roles toward ensuring food security, poverty alleviation, employment creation and ultimately helping the economy,” she said.
Ms Akosa said the programme was meant to empower women along the agric value chain.
She said the two-day programme would include seminars, leadership forum, exhibitions to showcase the products and services of women and the climax would be an award ceremony to reward women in the agriculture sector.
The award categories include Passion for the Farm Awards, She-innovates Award, The Super Woman Award, Climate-Smart Women Project Award, and Change Champion Award, Lady of the Region Export Award and Gold in the Soil Award.
Ms Akosa said about 70 nominations had been received for the programme, regrettably there was no nomination for the Climate-Smart Women project Award category and called on the government and development partners to critically pay attention to the sector.
The Head, Marketing and Communications of ADB, Solomon Adu Atefoe in his remarks said his outfit was proud to be associated with the WOFAGRIC Show.
Mr Atefoe said the objective of ADB was to support women enter into large-scale and commercial farming like their male counterparts.
The Irrigation Manager of Interplast, Haidar Malhas for his part said the role women had played in Ghana’s agriculture development could not be discounted.
He said women needed to be supported to enter into agribusiness and not continue with subsistence farming.
Mr Malhas said Interplast was committed to supporting the development of the agriculture sector in Ghana and had currently ventured into the production of irrigation system to ensure all-year-round farming in Ghana.
The First Secretary of Development of the Canadian High Commission in Accra, Marie-Claude Harvey said empowering women was an opportunity to address the root causes of poverty.
By Kingsley Asare