Agriculture has a
central socioeconomic position in Ghana. This sector accounts for about 65
percent of the work force, about 40 percent of the gross domestic product, and
about 40 percent of foreign currencies acquired through exports. Although
agriculture is a key part of the country’s economy, the structure of the sector
is vulnerable because it relies on rain- fed agriculture during a roughly
six-month rainy season.
other types of unseasonable weather pose risks for farmers. Under these conditions,
irrigation development offers the promise of greater food security and the
rural-area development by ensuring yearlong agricultural production.
Despite considerable potential for development and the emphasis placed on
irrigation development in many plans, less than two percent of the total
cultivatable area in Ghana is irrigated. Moreover, even within this small area,
researchers lack a clear understanding of where in Ghana different types of
irrigation infrastructure are used and to what effect.
Less than a third of the estimated total
irrigated land in Ghana lies within 22 well-known public schemes, and not
enough is known of the location, development and management of the informal
irrigation schemes that account for the remaining two-thirds of total irrigated
land. Although donors and policymakers express interest in providing new funds
for irrigation development, the lack of reliable data on where irrigation
currently exists, trends in its development, and opportunities and constraints
within formal and informal schemes undermines consensus about how to build on
what already exists in the sector.
for a Ghana beyond aid gaining momentum, the agricultural sector must lead the
way in achieving this national goal, as agriculture employs more than 50
percent of the total economically active population.
is still abundant as only 38.9 percent of total agricultural land area is
currently cultivated. Yet productivity of existing farmland is generally low
and uncertain, because of prevailing traditional low-input,
shifting-cultivation farming systems and dependence on rainfall.
According to FAO,
Ghana is endowed with sufficient water resources for irrigation-based
intensification. Estimates of Ghana’s irrigation potential are wildly
divergent, ranging from 0.36-1.9 million hectares to slightly more than 33,000
ha under irrigated cultivation.
irrigation’s considerable potential and the emphasis placed on it in recent
plans, the proportion of potential irrigable land actually under irrigation is
insignificant. In addition, the performance and productivity of existing
irrigation schemes, particularly those that were publicly developed, are
Governments Renewed Commitment
For Ghana, the need to take irrigation farming a
notch high is long overdue. A simple technique like harvesting and
accumulation of rainwater for reuse by
farmers is one that we have to quickly put in place for our hard working
farmers to take advantage of. Ethiopia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, have already
led the way in similar innovative techniques that we can borrow a leaf from in
One Village, One Dam initiative is a welcome development that can’t wait longer
if the huge potential in agriculture will be realized for the benefit of the country. The times the
rains begin presents a challenge for farmers. Many of our farming practices
rely heavily on rain-fed agriculture so the One Village One Dam principle will
be very helpful in helping Ghana make a pronounced mark.
The One Village
One Dam policy will upgrade farmers from having to constantly depend on
rainfall to ensure their farms are watered to more effective and convenient
The introduction of One Village One Dam Policy
will undeniably increase food productivity and security, meet agricultural
sector growth targets and fast-track the country’s efforts towards achieving
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly the goals on eradication
of extreme poverty and hunger.
When completed, the project would not only serve
as a storage for harvested rain water for agricultural activities mostly in the
dry season, It would also help to mitigate the perennial challenge of flooding
which affects most communities whenever the spillway of the Bagre Dam in
Burkina Faso is opened, leading to loss of human lives, animals and the
destruction of farmlands and other valuable properties.
significant irrigation infrastructure that the government has committed to
executing is theTorgorme irrigation
It has been
projected that the 2,000-hectare irrigation project will generate about
GH¢28million yearly after completion. Direct farm income per year after
completion of the project and commencement of production is expected to
increase from the current, GH¢1,653 per hectare to GH¢14,253 per hectare.
Speaking at the
sod cutting of the project, President Akufo-Addo noted that a minimum of 17
communities with a combined population of over 6,000 would have direct access
to water supply that would increase the earnings of small holder farmers
through double-cropping under irrigated conditions, and the creation of jobs in
addition to the completion of various agri-businesses down the value chain.
which has been described as a game changer in the transformation of Ghana’s
agriculture sector into an international one, is being undertaken by OM
Metals/SPML (JV). It will be supersized by Messrs WAPCOS Limited in association
with Messrs AGRARTEC with HMD Africa as the leading supplier of all machinery
and equipment for the project.
of the project has received $50million in addition to an earlier $100million
committed six years ago from the World Bank and USAID as part of a larger
nationwide irrigation project spearheaded by GCAP. The project covers three
irrigation schemes including the KLBIP at Torgorme. The other two are the Kpong
Irrigation Scheme and the Tolon Irrigation Scheme in the North.
The Ethiopian example
economic growth averaging 10% every year between 2004 and 2014, Ethiopia has
emerged as an engine of development in Africa.
And there are no signs that ambitions for further growth are fading. This is
clear from the government’s blueprint to achieve middle-income status – or
gross national income of at least US$1006 per capita – by 2025. This would see
a rapid increase in per capita income in Ethiopia, which is
currently US$783 , according to the World Bank.
has been propelled by at least two factors: the prioritization of agriculture
as a key contributor to development and the fast-paced adoption of new
technologies to boost the sector.
A third of
Ethiopia’s GDP is generated through agriculture, and more than 12 million
households rely on small-scale farming for their livelihoods.
One of the drivers of growth in the agricultural sector has been the expansion
of irrigation. The country has seen the fastest growth in irrigation of any
African country. The area under irrigation increased by almost 52% between 2002
This was achieved
by investing in the sector, and by harnessing technology to expand irrigation
to farmers who traditionally relied on rainfall to water their crops. This
boosted productivity and income for farmers by helping them extend the growing
season and become more consistent in their production.
Meanwhile, only 6% of arable land is currently irrigated across the whole of
Africa. This means that there’s huge potential to expand irrigation and unlock
These factors are
highlighted by a new report from the Malabo Montpellier Panel. The panel
convenes experts in agriculture, ecology, and nutrition and food security to
guide policy choices by African governments. The aim is to help the continent
accelerate progress towards food security and improved nutrition.
The panel’s latest report analyses progress – and highlights best practice – in
irrigation in six countries. These include Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger and
South Africa. Other African countries can draw lessons from the report’s
The report identified a number of common factors in countries where significant
progress has been made to expand irrigation, including key policy and
In the case of
Ethiopia, one of the main reasons for its success is that agriculture and
irrigation have been featured on the Ethiopian policy agenda since 1991. In
addition, specialised institutions have been set up with clear commitments to
maximise the benefits of water control and irrigation systems.
In addition, the government has invested in the sector and has plans to
continue doing so. It aims to allocate US$15 billion to irrigation development
The investment is expected to deliver a number of returns. These include: more
efficient use of fertilizers reduction in the seasonal variability in
productivity and better yields from irrigated crops grown.
area of development has been the collection of data. This is an invaluable
asset that allows for careful monitoring and management of resources such as
water, especially in times of drought.
In 2013, Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency began mapping more than
32,400 sq kms to identify water resources, particularly shallow groundwater,
with the potential for irrigation development.
The final results
of this mapping in 89 districts revealed nearly 3 billion cubic metres of water
at a depth of less than 30 meters. This could allow approximately 100,000
hectares of land to be brought under irrigation, benefiting 376,000 families.
has harnessed the value of a full range of irrigation technologies. These have
ranged small-scale interventions to large infrastructure.
A joint project
between the Ethiopian Bureau of Agriculture, local extension officers, and an
NGO called Farm Africa, for example, helped women and young people adopt
small-scale irrigation. This was part of an initiative to increase their
incomes and improve their nutrition. Overall, the project reached nearly 6,400
women and landless people. The irrigation project also benefited 700 farming
In order to have
food and income security and to attain broader development goals, countries
need to make sure that all levels of government are engaged in planning and
implementation. The private sector and farming communities also need to be
involved to expand irrigation.
The experience of
Ethiopia and other countries leading on irrigation can help Ghana develop
country-specific strategies to effectively take irrigation to scale. The
benefits of doing so, such as enhancing on-farm productivity and income, and
improving resilience and livelihoods, are transformational.
WOFAGRIC is Agrihouse Foundation’s expert opinion sharing, mentoring, networking and learning platform for women in agriculture, agribusiness, key stakeholders, development partners, researchers, farmer groups, government agencies, business, civil society, investment and professional advisors and corporate leaders.
WOFAGRIC forms part of efforts to empower women, promote their works, expand their horizon, recognize and award their works and further mentor and inspire other women to venture into Agribusiness.
This year’s event, themed,” Women, Key Partners in Shading Agribusiness” will hold in Ho- Volta Region on the 12th and 13th of June, 2019. The event is being organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Women in Food and Agriculture Development, COCOSHE, Peasant Farmers Association, National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association and the Volta Regional arm of the Ghana National Farmers and Fishermen Association.
The two day event would be climaxed with the Gold in the Soil Awards to distinguish and award women for their invaluable contribution towards Agriculture and Agribusiness
EXPLORING THE THEME: “Women! Key Partners in Shaping Agribusiness.
What does the future hold for the backbone of the economy and the sub-regional basket? What impact are women having in shaping and directing the conversation on production, processing, communications, marketing? Are there favorable policies? How are farm related components of the rural economy contributing to income generation and employment? What is the Government planning next for women in Agribusiness? How are we contributing to women’s empowerment and agricultural entrepreneurship? Are women very well exposed to the aspects of planning, development and management of businesses in agro-industries? What are the plans and initiatives or donor agencies to support women in agribusiness? What is the way forward? Is it the dawn of a new day? Have or can women take their place in the sector full of opportunities?
Join and support us, as we seek to discuss and find answers to our five (5) main topics:
- How to start and manage and agribusiness
- The essence of marketing and branding in agribusiness
- Support systems and best practices in promoting agribusiness
- How can women use agribusiness to bring solutions to Ghana’s economic, social and environmental challenges
- What factors are necessary for good agricultural production?
The Women in Food and Agric Forum and the Gold in the soil Awards, will bring together over two hundred stakeholders; top achievers from the industry and heavy weight thought leaders alongside inspiring individuals from outside the confines of the Agricultural sector, who aspire in their daily lives to bring about new thinking, share knowledge and learn from industry experts.
The above topics have been carefully selected from leads and recommendations, as well as major issues trending in the agricultural sector.
MAIN ACTIVITIES FOR THE Two (2) DAY EVENT:
- Panel Discussion: Key Issues affecting women in Agribusiness
- Focused Training Programs for female Agri-prinuers
- Breakout Session: Mentorship Dialogue
- Presentation : Career Opportunities for Women in Agribusiness
- Empowerment Talk: Fire in my heart and Grace in My soul
- Mentor-Pair-Up: Aspire to be
- Gold in the Soil Awards / Documentary
The agricultural landscape is largely dominated by women who make up almost half the world’s farmers. Most of the small holders, including women in agriculture, have less access to education and finance which makes it more difficult for them to adopt new technologies. Research shows that agriculture productivity in developing countries could increase 20-30 percent, if women are given the same access to resources as men. Apart from poverty-reduction benefits to women in agriculture, improving the productivity of existing agricultural lands is a critical way of addressing deforestation and climate change.
As part of efforts to continuously improve and recognize the effort of women in the Agricultural industry and to bring dynamism into the fore, Agrihouse will be organizing the Women in Food and Agriculture Leadership Conference & Expo (WOFAGRIC) which is aimed at showcasing through exhibitions, the works, products and services of women in Agric. in Ghana and beyond. The event purely focuses on Smallholder Women in Agriculture, whiles building capacity, alongside the 2day event.
WOFAGRIC seeks to pay tribute to the efforts and contribution by women, young female ‘agripreneurs’, female students and women with disabilities for their roles toward ensuring food security, poverty alleviation, employment creation and ultimately helping the economy.
WOFAGRIC seeks to recognize pioneers and trailblazers; the women who push the boundaries along the value chain. From the days of Adam to Tetteh – Quarshie, men have been considered to be at the forefront of agriculture. Women who have dared to challenge this stereotype have been looked at in a not-so- encouraging light. Though there has been a lot of work to increase visibility of women achievers in all industries, women still need and want to see other women role models.
Identifying exceptional women who others can relate to via women-only awards is a step in providing the much-needed examples currently lacking in many traditional awards. The end goal would be to have a level playing field among the genders but currently, we do not. Women are outnumbered by men in the executive talent pool in almost all industries for a number of cultural bias reasons.
Agrihouse Foundation and her partners believe there need to be a paradigm shift in this regard by projecting women achievers in agribusiness.
It also aims to promote networking among women achievers in agribusiness and propel them to do more collectively.
WOFAGRIC will undertake three (3) main segments as follows:
- WOFAGRIC Exhibitions of improved technologies
The exhibition will bring together all the relevant women actors within the sector with the potential to stimulate increased staple crop productivity among small holder farmers including women. It will focus on Innovation bringing together buyers and sellers of the latest technology of products and services to make your business successful.
- The WOFAGRIC Mentorship Dialogue
The two-day Conference will be organized alongside the two-day exhibition to help build capacity of women farmers, entrepreneurs and women in agriculture.
The Conference is aimed at providing a platform to exchange best practices and share
valuable lessons learnt in handling and overcoming challenges in agribusiness.
The WOFAGRIC conference also seeks to facilitate dialogue between various actors in the Agribusiness space among women. The conference will present the platform to
catalyze actions and refine their interventions in order to better respond to the needs;
Advocate for inclusive value chains and agricultural market systems to support women in agribusiness.
- The WOFAGRIC Awards ( Gold in the Soil Awards)
Gold in the Soil Awards: The awards sessions aim at recognizing and rewarding outstanding women in Agriculture. A documentary on activities and impact of these women will be produced to be to be aired on TV and social media platforms to showcase the works of these women and an award ceremony, organized to celebrate them
AWARD CATEGORIES FOR THE GOLD IN THE SOIL AWARDS
- Passion for the Farm Awards
The award recognizes those who have achieved excellence in their field or demonstrated an extraordinary contribution to the agribusiness industry.
This category targets awarding women who are farming in their own right or in a partnership. These women should have made essential contribution(s) to the success and profitability of the farm dovetailing into creation of jobs and improving the economy of the country.
- She-innovates Award
This category seeks to look out for a woman who looked at the community in relation to the farm, identified challenges and saw immense opportunity through diversification and eventually makes a success story out of that business idea.
Iii. The Super Woman Award
This special category goes to women with disabilities for the roles they play towards ensuring food security, poverty alleviation, job creation and economic growth in the Agric sector.
Iv. Star in Ag Award (Woman Agripreneur Award)
This special recognition goes out to young women with great achievements in the agribusiness industry
- Royal Carla Award (Queen mothers)
Through this award, we identify a traditional leader (Queen mother) whose long-
term and active engagement in helping women get access to farmlands in our
Community has had a significant, positive impact on agribusiness.
vi Diamond in the rough award
A potential agripreneur not seen or recognized but has the capabilities to be
outstanding. Smaller projects/business models started would be evaluated and
vi Poultry and Livestock
This is to a woman with great determination and integrity who has continuously
demonstrated a positive role in poultry and livestock and has an unwavering
commitment to succeed in this sector. They have made a series of significant selfless
contributions with a long-lasting benefit to this sector.
Criteria for Selection
The awards are open to women aged 18 and above from every district in Ghana. There can be direct entries or one could be nominated by friends or family by filling in an application form online or picking a form from the offices of Agrihouse foundation.
Nomination package must include:
- A typed profile, not to exceed 500 words, describing the agricultural work of the nominee and in their community.
- Two nominators, providing letters of recommendation (not to exceed one page each) and contact information.
- The nominee’s contact information.
What Happens Then?
All applications and nominations must be sent in before the closing date of Wednesday 1st May, 2019.
Shortlisted nominations will then be visited by a panel of judges. You must be available to receive a visit from the judging panel during the week commencing (date to be communicated)
Email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or submitted at the offices of Agrihouse Foundation.
For full details call: 0244623012 / 0242945108 / 0249980957 /0540386759.
Expected Result and Benefit over the Medium to Long Term
Women role in agriculture has been under estimated and undervalued for a long time. This to an extent has contributed to ladies venturing into other fields such as Management, HR, Science and Technology, entertainment just to mention a few with just a fraction of them taking up careers in agriculture. WOFAGRIC will help put women’s contribution in agriculture at the forefront and showcase their products and services. This will throw more light on their activities which will motivate other women to see role models in these accomplished ‘womenpreneurs’.
The Conference and capacity building component of the program will help small holder women farmers identify untapped potentials in the Agric sector and help them create jobs on their own with assistance from the role models who will serve as mentors.
WOFAGRIC awards will recognize and honor the contribution of accomplished women. This will spur them on to do more and serve as a challenge for others. In the long run, more women would be in the Agric space helping create more employment.
With its consistency, it will continue to play that facilitation role that has largely been missing.
The WOFAGRIC Event will continue to ensure that deliberate attention is focused on women in agribusiness as this will help Ghana achieve and maintain even more growth in the agriculture sector.