Eighty-six (86) Queen Mothers to Converge at 5th “Gathering of the Royals”

Eighty-six (86) Queen Mothers to Converge at 5th “Gathering of the Royals”

About eighty-six (86) paramount and sub queen mothers from across the sixteen regions of the country, together with representatives from academia, policy, government, development agencies and agric institutions, will be converging in Accra, for the 5th edition of the “Gathering of the Royals” event.

Organized by Agrihouse Foundation, the development-focused interventional event, annually, focuses on strengthening working relationships among royals, traditional and corporate leaders, towards the initiation of collaborative efforts and exploration of further opportunities within the agric sector.

Focused on the theme, “Championing Agri-growth through our Queen Mothers – The Agri booster Module,” this year’s event is expected to take place at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra, on Wednesday, February 22, 2022.

In a press statement, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said this year’s “Gathering of the Royals,” will pick up from where it ended last year, by examining the progress of the call the actions that were developed last year, as part of efforts to advance and influence policy directions that strengthen partnerships among traditional leaders and agric stakeholders, towards the holistic growth of the country’s agricultural sector, with much focus on the empowerment of more sustainable women farmers.

The royal panel conversations, which will be replicated again this year, will give us an opportunity to present accurate assessments of how we are all working together, as industry players to address the issues presented in the call to action communique last year, she said. They included, gender mainstreaming within the agric sector; the provision of access road from the farms, and to the markets; the need for irrigation and water sources on farmlands; sustainable provision of agric inputs; interventions for easy access to stress free finance; and sufficient availability of extension officers, among others.

The paramount queen mothers will have a chance to highlight agric modules that are proving successful and how working with relevant stakeholders is adding to the social and economic impacts they are making in their regions, districts and communities. They will have a chance also to reiterate the progress of new or continuing agricultural development initiatives they are championing in their various clans and districts, since the event last year, “At the end of the event, we are expecting to come-up with more realistic measures that can be addressed through policies and community interventions. We hope to mobilize and empower more women farmers in our rural areas, through the efforts of their queen-mothers, and their collaborations with other traditional leaders, corporate bodies, stakeholders in academia, government and development partners, among others,” Ms. Akosa emphasized.

This year, besides the eighty-six (86) Queen Mothers and Traditional Leader, the event is expected to draw about two hundred and fifty (250) participants and high profiled dignitaries from across sectors including development partners, government agencies, private institutions, academia, research associations and civil society organizations.

We are anticipating all our invited guests will honour our invitation to be part of the event this year, to make the event a highly successful one. Annually, the event is in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, COCOSHE, and the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, Ms. Akosa noted.

Corporate Sponsors, including OCP Africa, Agromonti Company Limited and Moudlyn Limited have pledged financial and technical commitment towards the success of the upcoming event.

2023: Our Year of Creativity, Innovation and Actionable Actions

2023: Our Year of Creativity, Innovation and Actionable Actions

This year Agrihouse Foundation is committed to exploring more creative and innovative ideas that will have increased impacts on our projects and beneficiaries, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa has noted.

 “Last year, we focused on working smart. By doing so, we made the most of our internal and external resources to scale up our impacts. This year, we aim to build on the efforts we implemented in 2022, with more creativity and innovation,” she said in the very first office meeting for the new year.

While expressing gratitude to sponsor organizations and stakeholders whose financial and technical support contributed to successes the Foundation chalked last year, Ms. Akosa reiterated the need for more partnerships and collaborations this year, which she said, is the way to sustain development and productivity, within the agric sector. Last year, Agrihouse Foundation chalked a number of successes across the value chain through its interventional projects and collaborations.

Gathering of the Royals: the Gathering of the Royals, which the Foundation initiated last year brings together representatives from Development Partner agencies, Government institutions, Parliamentarians, Embassies, Policymakers, Researchers, Academia, Religious leaders, the civil society and Agricultural Value Chain actors and stakeholders.The event has been designed as an experts’ thought sharing and solution-oriented platform that will gives the above stakeholders the platform to elaborate on Agricultural development projects and initiatives they are championing in their various clans and districts.

Last year, the event brought together fifty (50) Queen Mothers and traditional leaders to discuss agricultural development, and highlight projects they are championing in their various clans and districts. The event hosted selected parliamentarians, development partners and corporative institutions to be part of the conversations around agric development, making room for practical, realistic and achievable solutions to be discussed. Through a Call TO ACTIONS Communique, policy directions aimed at strengthening sustainable farming and a women friendly agricultural system was put together and presented to the political figures and organizational leaders who were present at the event.

Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance & Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD): this practical beginner Agribusiness initiative is designed to develop agric students, beginner agribusinesses and start- up’ expertise, while exposing them to the dynamics of the market, through education and leadership programs essential for achieving success in agriculture and agribusiness. In the past five years, AG-STUD-AFRICA, has benefitted over 1000 agribusiness students and beginner agribusinesses develop strong and bankable business plans. The Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue bootcamp (Ag-Stud Africa) benefitted about 60 students last year. Since 2018, over 700 over agric students and beginner agribusinesses have participated in the bootcamp, developing strong and bankable business plans. The experience has empowered over 500 students from 30 different schools with entrepreneurship skills, and supported them with start-up capital to start their agri-businesses. About 250 beginner agribusinesses have been established by students who have participated in AG-STUD.

Livestock Poultry & Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF): The tradeshow aims to ensure all facets of the agricultural sector, including animal agricultural production, receive equal attention and resources. The annual event offers participants the opportunity to exhibit their products and services, engage in panel discussions and dialogues and go through training sessions, such as Livestock Training Session • Piggery Training Session• Rabbit Training Session • Cattle Training Session • Fisheries & Aquaculture Training Session • Grasscutters Training Session • Snail Training Session. TheTradeshow (LIPF), has in the past four years attracted local and international animal farmers and exhibitors from countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia, since 2019. The two-day event has empowered over 50,000 sub holder farmers to venture into animal agriculture, with training and capacity building skills in poultry, piggery, rabbit, cattle, and snail farming. Over 90% of participants and exhibitors testify positively about the event, describing it as a perfect introductory training program for animal farmers.

Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards: this project was designed and first implemented in 2019 by Agrihouse to enable women develop their agricultural skills, motivate, mentor and build upon their capabilities to becoming independent. WOFAGRIC, over the past years has helped shape and build more professionals in the field of agriculture, importantly, has been a source of women empowerment. The two-part project has over the years acknowledged the industriousness of women in agriculture by awarding them through the Gold in the Soil Awards. This awards scheme goes a long run to motivate other women to venture into the fields of agriculture business. Over the years, a number of the nominees for the Gold in the Soil Awards made entries into the National Best Farmers Award Scheme at district, regional and national levels.

About 7 of them have won laurels at the district and regional levels whist 2 of them picked up awards at the National awards. Over 25% of participants are now thriving as agribusiness owners because of the agribusiness management training they receive during the events. Most of the women have taken up leadership roles within their within their communities and regions, as aggregators, NGO Founders, Women Farmer Organization leaders, among others. In 2021, about 50% of women farmers recorded at the event manage 10 to 65 acres of farmland, and are between the ages 25-65years, with a number of them being women farmers with a physical disability.

Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions: the Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions is the only project that was handed down to Agrihouse Foundation by USAID, as part of the organizations exiting strategy. The event has become one of the leading and highly impactful interventional market linkage events on the Ghanaian Agribusiness calendar, providing long-term market development opportunities for farmers and agribusinesses. The award-winning market-linkage platform promotes business partnerships among value chain actors, especially farmers, buyers, processors, government, Development partners, transporters, input dealers, civil society, equipment dealers, financial institutions, telecom companies and policy makers.

Pre-harvest culminates with conferencing events, presentations, exhibitions and market place for business-to-business meeting. It also serves as a dynamic platform for farmers to negotiate and seal contracts, and seeks to strengthen the capacity of Farmer Based Organizations (FBO’s), Aggregators, Processors and value chain actors for them to play a key role as agricultural market actors. It further assists farmers and agribusinesses to expand their businesses before and after harvesting.

Ghana Chicken Festival (GHA-CHICK): the event is aimed to encourage the purchase and consumption of Ghana chicken to Ghanaians; create a platform for households, Stakeholders to be educated and informed about the significance of consuming locally bred birds (Chicken, Guinea Fowl and Turkey) and coupled with informative fun-filled activities, in an atmosphere of entertainment and relaxation. Last year, the 2nd edition of the festival (GHA-CHICK) brought together over fifty (50) Households, last year; in a relaxed atmosphere, with great music and recreational games like oware, Scrabble, Ludo and Monopoly, the families sampled different meals made with chicken.

1 household, 1 Garden Initiative (1h,1g): the 1 household, 1 garden is an initiative collaterally intended to further scale up government’s ongoing efforts to support families and communities to be more self-reliant, while its core objective is to provide Ghanaians a simple and easily accessible source of augmenting their daily food need without often stepping out beyond their homes. The 1 household, 1 garden initiative essentially aims at triggering a wave of self-sufficiency and enhanced nutrition through the ignition of interest in home gardening, in the wake of COVID-19, to mitigate the effects of food accessibility. Being funded by AGRA through USAID- Feed the Future Program, has in its first phase empowered over 2000 households to become more self-reliant and conscious about food security. The households are freely provided 12 assorted vegetable seedlings, manure, garden tools, treated soil, Training Manual, garden structures, and given the needed support and gardening manuals to help them establish their garden and manage it.

The 1household, 1garden Initiative, being funded by AGRA through USAID- Feed the Future Program, has in its first phase empowered over 2000 households to become more self-reliant and conscious about food security. The households are freely provided 12 assorted vegetable seedlings, manure, garden tools, treated soil, Training Manual, garden structures, and given the needed support and gardening manuals to help them establish their garden and manage it.

International Farmers and Agribusiness Resilience and Sustainability Convention (INTAFAC): INTAFAC seeks to bring together Farmers and the members of the Agribusiness sector to influence transformation; with focus on public-private partnerships, investment opportunities, significantly raise the bar and create an action-driven blueprint towards further agricultural development in the country. INTAFAC will set a stage for open and informed dissuasions and debates on major social, human and environmental obstacles that hinders the development of a buoyant Agri-economic, market resilience and self-sustainable Agri- institution.

The convention will engage Agri-leaders, players and experts from government; Farmer based Organizations, development partners, Finance, businesses, technology, academia and actors. They will share their knowledge and expertise on how the agricultural sector in Ghana can begin to focus, develop and adopt strategies, policies, and techniques, that will positively impact and scale up efforts, in building a sustainable, commercially viable and all-inclusive Agricultural sector. The event is expected to come off in March.

The Agri-Woman Marketplace: the marketplace seeks to support women Agribusinesses recover, grow and promote their farm produce, products and services. It provides free exhibitions and marketing space for the women to sell and promote their products and services, whiles opening up their access to markets. Fully sponsored by Agrihouse Foundation, the initiative empowers women led agribusinesses, as a way of helping them to recover fully from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 200 women farmers and women-led agribusinesses have so far benefited from the agri-woman marketplace event, which also offers opportunity for knowledge sharing and capacity-building dialogues. The event has created networking opportunities for agri-women in areas such as farming, processing, packaging, marketing, IT service providers among others. This has led to increase in their sales, with a number of them securing major deals with local and international companies that purchase raw and semi-processed agricultural produce.

AgriWatchgh News Portal and Mobile App: AgriWatchgh: AgriWatchgh is a agric-focused news portal and a bi-weekly newsletter platform of Agrihouse Foundation that updates stakeholders with agricultural news, issues, and trends regionally, nationally and globally. You can access to relevant and timely agric news at www.agriwatchgh.com. AgriWatchgh News Portal was initiated in the early months of 2019, at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, when the Foundation noticed the dire socio-economic implications the spread of the virus was having on the agricultural sector, in the country and beyond. A year down the line, AgriWatchgh New Portal has become a fast growing, prominent news website, among Ghanaians and international stakeholders.

AgriWatch News App: The fast growing visibility and general acceptance of AgriWatch News Portal necessitated the design and implementation of the mobile news App, ‘AgriWatch News App’ makes accessing news on ‘AgricWatch News Portal,’ easier and more convenient for readers. The mobile ‘AgriWatch News App.’ is on the Google Play Store. With these relevant and trustworthy news platforms, the Foundation seeks to continue expanding it communications portfolio and make agriculture-related news more related, exciting and friendly to all Ghanaians and agri-stakeholders across the globe.

Agrihouse Communications

This is the sister company of Agrihouse Foundation, with personnel’s who have vast knowledge in Ghana’s agric sector. This background makes Agrihouse Communications preferred corporate organization serving the agric sector as well as for the entire sectoral stakeholders. With our practical and experiential Public Relations expertise, Media Relations and proven Events Management, our company remains high on the list in this special niche. Agri-comms provides a broad range of communication service packages designed to deliver the best communication derived successes to our clients, ranging from media relations, social media or digital communication, public relations, new media and result oriented events.

Advancing Ghana’s Agricultural Sector with Creativity and Innovation  

Advancing Ghana’s Agricultural Sector with Creativity and Innovation  

Creativity and innovation are two essential components needed in the growth of agriculture. Ghana’s agricultural sector, specifically, has the potential of becoming a major driver of the country’s economic growth, if efforts are increased by government and stakeholders to adopt more creative and innovative ways to improve work in the sector. This year at our focus at Agrihouse Foundation is to continuously reiterate this all important call to government, our partners and stakeholders, while exploring more creative and innovative ways of executing our own tasks and projects.

Agric Sector Challenges

Even in the face of many challenges, Ghana’s agricultural sector plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, accounting for approximately 25% of Ghana’s GDP and employing more than half of the country’s population. The sector is also a major source of foreign exchange, with exports of cocoa, coffee, and other agricultural products accounting for a significant portion of Ghana’s export revenues. However, one of the major challenges facing Ghana’s agricultural sector is the lack of access to modern technology and infrastructure.

Many farmers still rely on traditional methods of farming, which can lead to low productivity and a lack of competitiveness in the global market. Additionally, the sector is plagued by a lack of access to credit and other financial services, which can make it difficult for farmers to invest in the technology and equipment they need to improve their yields. Therefore many farmers in the country continue to rely on traditional farming methods, which are labor-intensive and less efficient compared to modern techniques. This not only results in lower crop yields but also increases the risk of crop failure due to pests and diseases.

Another challenge facing the agricultural sector in Ghana is a lack of access to credit and financial services. Many farmers in Ghana lack the resources to invest in their farms and purchase modern equipment, which limits their ability to increase crop yields and improve their livelihoods.

Poor infrastructure is also a major challenge facing the agricultural sector in Ghana. Many rural areas lack basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and irrigation systems, making it difficult for farmers to transport their crops to market and access inputs such as fertilizers and seeds. Additionally, poor storage facilities and lack of access to electricity and cold storage means that many farmers are unable to preserve their crops and are forced to sell them at low prices.

Climate change is also having a significant impact on the agricultural sector in Ghana. The country is experiencing increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, which are leading to droughts and floods. This is making it more difficult for farmers to predict the best time to plant and harvest their crops, and is also increasing the risk of crop failure.

Another challenge facing the agricultural sector in Ghana is a lack of access to markets. Many farmers in Ghana are unable to sell their crops at fair prices due to a lack of information about market prices and the lack of access to buyers. This means that many farmers are forced to sell their crops at low prices, which does not provide them with enough income to invest in their farms and improve their livelihoods.

Government Efforts

In recent years, the government of Ghana has taken steps to address these challenges and to promote growth in the agricultural sector. For example, the government has implemented policies aimed at increasing access to credit for farmers, as well as programs designed to promote the adoption of modern technologies and techniques. Additionally, the government has invested in infrastructure projects, such as the construction of irrigation systems and the expansion of rural roads, to improve access to markets and to make it easier for farmers to transport their goods.

Another key area of focus for the government has been the development of the country’s cocoa sector. Ghana is one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa, and the government has implemented a number of initiatives to help farmers improve the quality of their cocoa and to increase their productivity. These include the distribution of high-yielding cocoa varieties, the provision of training and technical assistance to farmers, and the establishment of a quality control system to ensure that Ghanaian cocoa meets international standards.

In addition to these government-led efforts, the private sector has also played an important role in the development of Ghana’s agricultural sector. Private companies have invested in the development of new technologies and equipment, and have worked to provide farmers with access to markets and other resources. Additionally, several private companies have established large-scale agribusinesses in Ghana, which have helped to create jobs and to promote economic growth in rural areas.

Despite these efforts, there are still a number of challenges that need to be addressed in order for Ghana’s agricultural sector to reach its full potential— one being the lack of significant creativity, technology and innovation in the sector.

Technology and Innovation in the Agricultural Space

Technology, creativity and innovation have played a significant role in improving agriculture around the world. The use of technology in agriculture has helped farmers to increase productivity and efficiency, while also reducing costs and the environmental impact of farming. Additionally, the application of creativity and innovation has led to the development of new business models, marketing strategies, and sustainable agricultural practices.

One way in which technology has improved agriculture is through precision farming. Precision farming is the use of technology such as GPS, drones, and sensors to collect data on crop growth, soil moisture, and weather conditions. This data is then used to optimize planting, fertilization, and irrigation, which can lead to higher yields and lower costs. Additionally, precision farming can help to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which can have a positive impact on the environment.

Another way in which technology has improved agriculture is through the use of automation. Automation can be used to reduce labor costs and increase efficiency, for example, the use of tractors and other machinery can help farmers to plant, harvest and tend their crops more quickly and with less effort. Additionally, the use of robotic systems can be used for tasks such as planting, harvesting, and monitoring crop growth.

Creativity and innovation have also played a role in the development of new business models and marketing strategies in agriculture. For example, the use of community-supported agriculture (CSA) and direct marketing can help farmers to connect with consumers and to negotiate better prices for their products. Additionally, the use of digital platforms and e-commerce can be used to connect farmers to global markets, and to increase their competitiveness.

Furthermore, sustainable agricultural practices have been improved through the application of creativity and innovation. These practices include organic farming, regenerative agriculture and agroforestry, which combines forestry and agriculture. These practices can be used to improve soil fertility, conserve biodiversity, and reduce the negative impact of agriculture on the environment. Moreover, precision farming techniques can also be used to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers and to increase crop yields, which in return, will lead to sustainable agriculture practices.

Advancing Agriculture with Creativity and Innovation

In Ghana, there is a need for increased investment in modern technology and equipment, in the agric sector; as well as the development of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and irrigation systems. There also needs to be a focus on increasing the resilience of the agricultural sector to the impacts of climate change, through the promotion of climate-smart farming practices and the development of drought- and flood-resistant crops. Furthermore, there is a need to increase access to markets for farmers in Ghana, through the development of market information systems.

One of the key ways that technology can improve the agricultural sector in Ghana is through the use of precision farming. Precision farming is a modern approach to farming that uses technology such as GPS and sensor-based devices to gather data on soil conditions, weather patterns, and crop growth. This information can then be used to optimize crop yields and reduce the use of inputs such as water and fertilizer. This approach is particularly valuable in Ghana, where farmers often lack access to modern agricultural equipment and are forced to rely on traditional methods of farming that are less efficient and less productive.

Another way that technology can improve the agricultural sector in Ghana is through the use of mobile applications and other digital tools. For example, farmers can use mobile apps to access market information, weather forecasts, and other important data that can help them make better-informed decisions about planting and harvesting crops. Additionally, digital platforms such as e-commerce websites can connect farmers directly with buyers, eliminating the need for intermediaries and allowing farmers to receive better prices for their crops.

Creativity and innovation can also play a vital role in improving the agricultural sector in Ghana. For example, farmers can use creative problem-solving techniques to develop new and innovative solutions to the challenges they face. This could include developing new crop varieties that are more resistant to pests and diseases or finding new ways to use waste materials as fertilizers. Additionally, farmers can use creative marketing strategies to promote their products and build stronger relationships with buyers.

Innovation can also be used to improve the supply chain and logistics of the agricultural sector in Ghana. For example, using modern technologies such as drones and autonomous vehicles for crop spraying and harvesting can improve the efficiency and productivity of the sector. Additionally, blockchain technology can be used to create a secure and transparent supply chain that ensures that farmers receive fair prices for their crops while also ensuring that buyers receive high-quality products.

In conclusion, technology, creativity, and innovation can play a major role in improving the agricultural sector in Ghana. By embracing these tools and approaches, farmers can increase their productivity, reduce their costs, and access new markets. Additionally, by using technology and innovation to improve the supply chain and logistics of the sector, farmers can ensure that their products reach consumers quickly and efficiently, leading to better prices and greater success for the sector overall. Government and private sector should also support this move by investing in technology, training and research and development to enhance the agricultural sector.