Madam Akua Benipour, a 43-year-old farmer from Asuatia in the Sunyani Municipality of Ghana, has been nominated for the Diamond in the Rough Award Category of Agrihouse Foundation’s Gold in the Soil Awards at the 6th Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards, to be held in Sunyani in the Bono Region from Tuesday 9th July to Wednesday 10th July 2024.

In just two years, Madam Akua Benipour has transformed her modest 5-acre farm into a flourishing 70-acre agricultural enterprise. Her farm boasts a diverse array of crops including maize, yam, rice, cabbage, onion, cowpea, cassava, cashew, and cocoa, showcasing her dedication to sustainable farming practices and enhancing local food production.

Alongside her crop cultivation, Madam Benipour manages a thriving poultry business with 150 chickens, 70 goats, 45 guinea fowls, and 30 pigs. Her farm employs 14 workers from the community, providing vital local employment and serving as a mentor to aspiring farmers. The profits from her farm support her family, including the education of her eight children, underlining her commitment to both agricultural excellence and community welfare.

Despite her successes, Madam Benipour faces challenges, particularly in accessing affordable fertilizers essential for optimizing farm productivity. She hopes to receive support in the form of seeds, fertilizers, a spraying machine, and Wellington boots to further enhance her farming endeavors and increase yields.

“I am passionate about farming and strive to produce the highest quality crops,” she affirms. “However, the lack of accessible fertilizers has been a hindrance. I hope for assistance in this regard to boost my farm’s productivity.”

The Gold in the Soil Awards aim to recognize and celebrate the hard work and achievements of women in agriculture. The Diamond in the Rough category specifically honors women who have shown resilience, innovation, and dedication in their farming practices, making significant contributions to the agricultural sector in the Bono Region and beyond.

Agrihouse Foundation, in collaboration with sponsors including Global Affairs Canada and Yara Ghana, is committed to supporting smallholder farmers like Akua Benipour. Their joint efforts aim to make a lasting impact on farming communities, promoting growth and prosperity across the nation.

As the Agrihouse Production Team travels through the Bono Region, they will capture stories of resilience, innovation, and success among women farmers. These efforts highlight the immense talent and hard work of female farmers and farmers with disabilities, paving the way for a more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous agricultural sector that recognizes the vital role of women in ensuring food security.

The 6th Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards, scheduled for July 9th to 10th, 2024, at Sunyani Technical University, promises to be a significant event. Under the theme “Overcoming the Barriers to Women Agribusiness Development: The Role of Stakeholders,” these gatherings will bring together stakeholders, industry leaders, women farmers, and farmers with disabilities to celebrate achievements, share knowledge, and advocate for a more inclusive and prosperous agricultural sector.

About WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards: The Agrihouse Foundation’s Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) & The Gold in the Soil Awards is an annual event that celebrates and strengthens women farmers, processors, marketers, and individuals contributing to the agricultural value chain. These awards recognize outstanding efforts across various sectors including transportation, packaging, technology, and input supply. Each year, the event moves across regions in search of extraordinary women who play pivotal roles in ensuring food security and advancing the agricultural sector’s growth.