The second edition of the Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Forum and Expo, dubbed Gold in the soil awards, has so far received 50 applications since nominations opened.
Under the theme: Women! Key Partners in Shaping Agribusiness, the two-day event which comes off on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at the Stevens Hotel at Ho in the Volta Region, is expected to bring together women playing various roles in the agricultural sector.
The program will focus on equipping agric-industry women with the capacity to improve production output. It will also assess the impact women have, in shaping and directing the conversation on production, processing and marketing, policies.
Intended to acknowledge pioneers and innovators who push the boundaries across the agribusiness value chain, the initiative will also seek to recognise and reward outstanding women who exemplify the can-do spirit of the Ghanaian.
The fourteen 14award categories for nominations includes; Passion for the Farm Awards, She-innovates Award, The Super Woman Award, Climate-Smart Women Project Award, Woman in Extension Services Award, Star in Ag Award (Woman Agripreneur Award), Royal Agro Award (Queen mothers), Diamond in the rough award, Feed to Food Award, The Change Champion Award, Lady of the Region Export Award, Development Partner Award, Princess Carla Award and Gold in the Soil Award.
So far, fifty 50 nomination forms have been received from women across the country who are playing key roles in line with the above-listed award categories. About 80% are from the Volta region, the host region of the event.
The ‘Gold in the Soil Award’ category has the most nomination. It has 40 nominations out of the 14 categories and the other 10 nominations cut across the other categories and regions.
The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Miss Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, expressed optimism that the time was right for the unsung heroes of agric to take centre stage.
“We are glad to see how women in Agriculture nationwide and especially those in the Volta Region, have embraced the 2019 WOFAGRIC event and are showing extreme interest and enthusiasm for the Gold in the Soil Awards,” said Alberta Akosah.
According to her, the massive participation in the event is an indication that the WOFAGRIC/ Gold in the Soil Awards would become a sustainable platform for women in Agriculture to have a share of voice, ideas, train and empower each other among many others.
The Awards is an Agrihouse initiative designed in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Women In Agric Development (WIAD), National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG) and the Volta Regional Coordinating Council.
Other activities lined up for the two-day event include; panel discussions, training programs, mentorship dialogue, presentations, empowerment talk, mentor pair –up, exhibition and workshop.
The Chairman of NFFAWAG, Davies Naah Korboe, said, the initiative will spur more women to strive for excellence in the industry.
“It is expected that the ‘Gold in the Soil Awards would play a key role in projecting women who excel in the Agricultural space and pay tribute to the efforts and contributions by these women, young female ‘agripreneurs’, female students and women with disabilities for their roles towards ensuring food security, poverty alleviation, employment creation and ultimately helping the economy.”
WOFAGRIC 2019 purely focuses on building the capacity of Women-owned smallholder agribusiness by showcasing their exhibitions, works, products and services.
The event is expected to move to a different region every year, so all women can embrace and take advantage of the platform.
On her part, the First Secretary (Development) at the Canadian High Commission, Marie-Claude Harvey said, Canada is working hand in hand with Ministry of Food and Agriculture to accelerate economic empowerment of women, through the implementation of the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana program known as MAG.
She noted that the program is aimed to modernise the agriculture sector by making the agricultural extension system more market-focused, more gender-sensitive and more climate-smart for better incomes, food security and nutrition.
Madam Marie-Claude Harvey explained that the MAG represents significant support to agriculture activities at the decentralised level, providing districts with the means to conduct field demonstrations, study tours and farm visits.
The funding provided by the Canadian government under the MAG program, district departments of agriculture throughout the country, was able to offer extension services to 2.5 million farmers, including close to one million women.