The persistence of the organizers of the annual Women In Food & Agriculture Leadership Training Forum & Expo (WOFAGRIC) and The Gold In The Soil Awards pays off today when the much awaited women targeted event opens at the Golden Bean Hotel, Kumasi.

With the theme, Transforming and Sustaining Women In Agriculture: The Role of Public, Private and Development Partners, the 2nd WOFAGRIC, an initiative of Agrihouse Foundations, opens from today, Thursday 6th to Friday 7th August, 2020,  in Kumasi. Aside from its rich educative content, the event also promises an endearing revelation of the hard work and awesome achievement of Ghanaian women who have remained the steadfast backbone of Ghana’s agriculture from age to age.

The 2nd WOFAGRIC event, which shall parade an array of women dignitaries, from royalties, Regional government officials, development partners, national personalities, sponsors to agric experts and distinguished farmers, shall have the Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Gyiele Nurah, as the Special Guest of Honour. The host Region shall be represented by the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Elizabeth Agyeman and the Mayor of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Hon. Osei Assibey Antwi.

The Day One activities, after the opening ceremony, shall kick off with a Panel discussion on the topic: Post COVID-19 and Beyond:  Assessing and understanding the challenges and opportunities for women in Agriculture.  The theme will attempt to articulate the challenges faced by women farmers – as marginalized farmers and, as the first victims of shocks – and shall endeavor to think out effective measures for protecting and providing for such vulnerable women, especially in times of crisis, as being presently experienced in the current Covid-19 era.

The Panel of discussants shall include Majeed Mohammed, Canadian High Commission; Madam Connie Nyador, 2019 Gold In The Soil Award Winner; Kwame Okyere, Marketing Officer, Yara Ghana; Carianne De Boer, Chief Of Party, USDA GPP; and Rev. John Manu, Agric Director, Ministry Of Food And Agriculture, Ashanti Region.

There will also be training and mentoring sessions on the two days of the event to be delivered by distinguished experts from the private and public sectors, including James Boateng, 2018 National Best Farmer; and others from Development Partners and sponsors. The training topics include: Identity, Access and Appraisal for obtaining credit or loan: Value Chain Optimizations; Progressive Licensing Scheme and its advantages; How can women build long-term resilience in future crisis through sustainable mechanization and Technology?; Giving women farmers support to enhance their productivity and market the food they produce, through e-commerce channels; and Giving women farmers support to enhance their productivity and market the food they produce, through e-commerce channels.

Further topics such as: Effective ways for women in agriculture to increase their ability to produce food for their communities; How do we ensure that the primary drivers of the sector – the smallholder women farmers – are included and empowered, and their economic outcomes enhanced?; and Unfolding impact of the pandemic on women in agriculture,  shall also be presented.

Also, the 2019 Gold in the Soil Award recipients, from the Volta Region, will take turns to share their experiences so far with participants.

The richly resourceful opening day will feature the viewing of the exhilarating documentary of the women nominees for the Gold In The Soil Awards segment of WOFAGRIC.

The documentary on the nominees was put together from a filming journey that took the organizer’s production team to 43 districts across Ashanti Region to capture the shortlisted 45 nominees in their very homes and working environments. The result was a telling and emotional documentary that should leave no doubt in the minds of the viewers that, indeed, Ghanaian women farmers deserve to be applauded and celebrated. The organizers of the event say that the viewing of the documentary alone, offers a very fulfilling experience by itself.

The Gold In The Soil Awards segment of WOFAGRIC is Agrihouse Foundations token effort to appreciate and reward Ghana’s women in agriculture. The awards scheme recognizes and honours outstanding women farmers in Ghana.

The 45 nominees, from which emerge the final winners, are nominated by the public and, based on their verified performance and achievements, which is one of the main purposes of the documentary video; a jury of distinguished industry experts finally decides who emerges winners of the prestigious awards. 

Day Two of the event will feature unique mentoring activities, sponsors centered activities and the climax, as it were, of the 2020 WOFAGRIC, which is the Gold In The Soil Awards events.

A panel discussion of Queen Mothers aptly dubbed: Gathering of the Royals, will also be a part of the day’s program.  This shall involve Queen Mothers from Central Region, Volta Region and the Ashanti Region. They shall be looking at Advancing women entrepreneurship, Women empowerment and advancing gender equality, amongst other related incidental issues.

The CEO of Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ms. Afua Asabea Asare, shall be delivering a talk titled: Fire in My heart; Grace in my soul Empowerment

In addition to delivering a speech, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah, shall also be the one to present the Super Woman Award to the winner’

Finally, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Gyiele Nurah, who will be the Special Guest of Honour shall, after his Empowerment Speech, present the ultimate award – Gold in the Soil Award – to crown 2020’s WOFAGRIC event’s outing. The winner goes home with a brand new mini truck.

The other winners will also go home with valuable consolation prices like fertilizers, planters from Yara Ghana, Rejuvenate, and RST.

Organized in partnership with the Ministry of food and Agriculture (MOFA), Women in Agric Development (WIAD), and the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG), the 2nd Women In Food & Agriculture Leadership Training Forum & Expo (WOFAGRIC) and The Gold In The Soil Awards is proudly sponsored by The Canadian High Commission, Absa, Yara Ghana, RST, Rejuvenate, OCP, LK International.

In the words of Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director, Agrihouse Foundation: “The maiden WOFAGRIC event stirred palpable and favourable attention to the activities of women in the agric space which, in the course of putting this edition together, we came to confirm. We are convinced that, with the success of this second outing, more women will be influenced to do more for Ghana and their families and communities primarily as an act of fulfilling their destinies.”