Madam Agatha Forkuo, a 60-year-old farmer from Dormaa Ahenkro in Ghana’s Bono Region, embodies the spirit of perseverance and dedication. Her life is a testament to the transformative power of agriculture and the resilience it demands. She has been nominated in the Passion of Farm category at the 6th Agrihouse Foundation’s Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards, to be held from Tuesday, July 9th to Wednesday, July 10th, 2024, in Sunyani, Bono Region.

Originally aspiring to be a seamstress, Agatha’s path diverged at 16 when financial constraints led her into farming alongside her father. This early introduction sparked a lifelong passion that has seen her cultivate 50 acres of land, nurturing crops like maize, cashew, palm nuts, garden eggs, tomatoes, pepper, and okra.

Additionally, she runs a thriving seed nursery where she tends to thousands of mango, orange, palm tree, and cocoa seeds, some of which she exports to neighboring Ivory Coast.

Through her hard work, Agatha has not only provided for her four children but also supported them through their educational journeys, with several achieving university degrees and nursing qualifications. Despite their academic success, she has instilled in them a deep appreciation for agriculture and its impact on livelihoods.

Beyond her personal achievements, Madam Agatha plays a pivotal role in her community. She has established a training club that mentors 12 young farmers, imparting skills in budding, grafting, and pest management. This initiative not only enhances local farming practices but also empowers the next generation of agricultural leaders.

However, Agatha faces challenges familiar to many farmers, such as inadequate water supply for irrigation and logistical difficulties in transporting her produce to market. Despite these obstacles, her determination remains unwavering, driving her to seek solutions and innovate within her farming practices.

During harvest seasons, Agatha employs over 10 laborers, contributing significantly to the local economy. She also involves her children in farm activities, instilling in them the same work ethic and love for agriculture that has defined her life’s journey.

Madam Agatha Forkuo’s story is a testament to the transformative impact of agriculture on individuals and communities. Her resilience, dedication, and commitment to empowering others through farming serve as an inspiration and a reminder of the essential role agriculture plays in shaping sustainable futures.

The WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards, now in its sixth year, is an annual regional initiative that rotates through various regions of Ghana. This event provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and financial support to over 8,000 women across the agricultural value chain. Scheduled for July 9th to 10th, 2024, at Sunyani Technical University under the theme “Overcoming the Barriers to Women Agribusiness Development: The Role Of Stakeholders,” the event will feature more than 600 participants engaged in breakout panel discussions, training workshops, exhibitions, trade shows, speed networking, and mentorship sessions. A highlight of the event will be the Gold in the Soil Awards, honoring exceptional women farmers and those with disabilities whose contributions have made a significant impact on the agricultural industry.

the 6th Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Training Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards is sponsored by Global Affairs Canada, and Yara Ghana limited .