OLAM Food marks International Day of Women, Girls in Science in Nkawkaw

OLAM Food Ingredients Ghana Limited (OFI), a private Licensed Buying Company(LBC) in Ghana’s cocoa sector on Friday commemorated this year’s United Nations (UN) International Day of Women and Girls in Science with farmers in its supply chain at Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region.

Held under the theme “Equity, diversity, and inclusion: Women and girls in science as agents of change in transforming the cocoa and cashew industries”, the event brought together over 300 predominantly women farmers under the OFI sustainability programme.

The celebration was to give participants’ expert knowledge and technical advice from qualified women scientists from the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and the Seed Production Division (SPD) of COCOBOD.

It was also to recognise the role of women and girls in science as agents of change in the cocoa and cashew industries.

Speaking at the programme, the Country Head of OFI, Mr Eric Asare Botwe, said the event was a good way to engage women and girls on the importance of education and spark an interest in science.

He said this was because, given the right support, women and girls could become catalysts for more sustainable cocoa communities and healthier families.

“That’s why, under our Cocoa Compass sustainability ambition, we’re also actively promoting gender equality through initiatives like Village Savings and Loans Associations that help women take control of their finances and save for their children’s education.,” he added.

Mrs Faustine Asamany, the Executive Director of SPD saidthere was the need to increase the participation of women and girls in science in order for them to serve as role models to farmers, lead in the fight against child labour and contribute significantly in the area of research.

She indicated that the quality attached to Ghana’s cocoa beans was as a result of the intensive scientific research invested in the area.

Charging young women not to shy away from the science fields, Dr Evelyn Ahiale, an Agricultural Economist at CRIGencouraged farmers to share available resources equally between their male and female children.

Likewise, Dr Esther Gyedu-Akoto, a research scientist at CRIG encouraged farmers to support their children to pursue higher learning.

The programme provided a platform to engage farmers and showcase the benefit of education, especially for young girls. Forty students pursuing courses in the sciences at the secondary and tertiary levels participated, with some sharing their experiences with the team.

OFI is a new operating group born out of Olam International. OFI offers sustainable, natural, value-added food products and ingredients so that consumers can enjoy the healthy and indulgent products they love. It consists of industry-leading businesses of cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts, and spices.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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