26
Wed, Jun

WOFAGRIC 2019 OPENS TODAY

Business & Economy

Five hundred women have registered to take part in the maiden edition of the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum and Expo (WOFAGRIC) and the Gold in the Soil Awards, scheduled to run from 12-13 June at the Chances Hotel in Ho, Volta Region.

Five hundred women have registered to take part in the maiden edition of the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum and Expo (WOFAGRIC) and the Gold in the Soil Awards, scheduled to run from 12-13 June at the Chances Hotel in Ho, Volta Region.

This event is the first of its kind in the agricultural sector, recognising women and their immeasurable contribution to agribusiness.

The two-day forum, themed Women! Key Partners in Shaping Agribusiness, is expected to empower, encourage and reward efforts by women in agribusiness. WOFAGRIC seeks to acknowledge women’s contribution in the agricultural sector, support innovation by them and empower others to venture into the sector.

The aim of the event is to give women a voice, offer them a platform and champion the cause of the agricultural businesswoman. It will also serve as a way of bridging the gender inequality gap in the agricultural sector and provide women with an array of opportunities for networking.

“Fantastic opportunity”

As part of its contribution to the two-day event, the Canadian High Commission has made a commitment to provide funding and technical support.

The first secretary for development at the Canadian High Commission to Ghana, Marie-Claude Harvey, said: “As a key partner of Ghana, we have in recent times seen the need to increase efforts towards women. This is because women represent an essential part of the society through which the rest of society can be positively impacted.

“Focusing on gender equality [in agriculture] for us is an opportunity to address the root cause of poverty.

“Women play a key role in agriculture but there is a big gap in terms of access when compared to their male counterparts. This, we believe, makes it naturally difficult for women to transition from subsistence farming to farming on industrial proportions.

“We are thrilled to know that WOFAGRIC is specifically targeted at women making it a fantastic opportunity for women to improve their businesses and expand.”

Boosting agribusiness

Mentorship and training sessions by YARA Ghana, Sidalco, Interplast and ADB, sponsors of the event, will encourage and empower women who want to venture into agribusiness. There will also be a session where women will be trained in processing rice milk, tiger nut powder, groundnut powder and cocoa powder, so that they can become self-sufficient with the skills they will acquire at the event.

The Gold in the Soil Awards, a core component of the programme, will recognise and reward outstanding women who have made significant contributions in agribusiness.

The awards have attracted over 50 nominations since bidding opened, and are spread across 14 categories: Passion for Farm, She Innovates, Super Woman, Women in Extension Services, Star in Ag, Diamond in the Rough, Feed to Food, Change Champion, Royal Agro (Queenmothers), Lady of the Region Export, Climate Smart Women Project, Princess “Carla Denizard”, Development Partner and the most coveted prize, the Gold in the Soil Award.

According to Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa (pictured), executive director of Agrihouse Foundation, “It is an obvious reality that women, for instance, do not receive adequate support in their quest to compete with their male counterparts despite their immense contribution to the sector.

“The event will place women at the forefront and also acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the growth of their community and the nation as a whole.”

WOFAGRIC partners in the agricultural sector include Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD), the National Farmers and Fishermen Award-Winners’ Association and AGRA. International partners include the Brazilian Embassy, the Embassy of Israel, USAID’s Advance Project, the Netherlands Embassy and USAID Amplified.

WOFAGRIC is expected to move to a different region every year, offering women all over Ghana an equal chance to be encouraged and celebrated.

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