The second phase of 1 Household-1 Garden Initiative is targeting households and schools interested to be part of a backyard – sized agricultural operation in 17 selected districts in the Northern Region, North East and Upper West Regions. The purpose of this project is to ensure the resilience of households to the shocks and stresses caused by climate change to food systems by diversifying their focus commodities to include vegetables to improve their nutrition. The project also serves as a COVID-19 response strategy to enhance Household Food Security and improve livelihoods. Eligible candidates include all domiciled in the Districts below and able to utilize their available backyard space for this purpose.
1. Daffiama Bussie Issa 2. Nadowli 3. Sissala East 4. Sissala West 5. Wa East 6. East Mamprusi 7. Mamprugu Moagduri 8. Mion 9. Sagnarigu 10. Nanton 11. Gushegu 12. Karaga 13. Yendi Municipal
This initiative, guided by AGRA, Agrihouse Foundation and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture concentrates on food production to prepare, mitigate and respond to and recover from the COVID19 pandemic with special emphasis on national food security. It sets out to support and enhance efforts in the area of job creation and building the capacity of the youth, who are eager to support in setting up these farms in homes across the aforementioned Districts.
The project seeks to create further jobs and support the livelihoods of carpenters, masons and, possibly, some unemployed engineering graduates, who will be most relevant in the implementation of this national home garden project. Nutrition wise, the program seeks to put fresh nutritious produce closer to homes.
We believe, this will further boost efforts of Government, Development Partners and Private sector players to achieve a Ghana beyond food aid.
(Any area of land adjacent or attached to the current dwelling premises of the respondent is considered as a backyard garden. It consists of a potential cultivable area up to a maximum of 1/16th of an acre, equivalent to 2723-3000 square feet of land.) NB: Persons who show innovative techniques with regards to limited land space i.e. Sacks, arcade, container, rooftop garden systems, window box, wood, bricks, clay and cement garden systems are encouraged to sign up
Highlighting major challenges that face agribusiness students, some beneficiaries of this year’s 5th Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD-AFRICA) Bootcamp, have further used the opportunity to call on their teachers and colleagues to stop diminishing and undervaluing their choice to pursue agric as an academic program.
The students made the passionate plea last week Friday, at the closing event of the annual 5-day capacity-building Bootcamp, organized by Agrihouse Foundation. The event, which attracted the attention of H.E the Vice President, Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, also brought together over three hundred (300) participants, including seventy (70) agri-students and beginner agribusinesses, from twenty-one (21) agric colleges and institutions across the country, as well as, resources persons from the fields of academia, government, agric institutions, policymakers, and public and private sector executives.
During the ‘Agribusiness Plan Presentation,’ which forms a major part of the bootcamp, the student’s revealed instances of when their teachers and peers have insulted and ridiculed them for choosing to study agriculture. Danquah Newton Kelly, a second year agricultural science student of Accra Academy High School noted that, “On my first day at school, a teacher impolitely asked me why I have chosen to study agriculture. The way he asked the question, really dampened my spirit,” he said, “so I went back home and told my mother I didn’t want to pursue agriculture. I wanted to become a General science student.”
According to him and his colleagues, some teachers come to class and condescendingly, compare them to their peers pursuing General Science, and even tell them that, they would never be as intelligent as General Science students.
Although these comments have no scientific bases, the students say that continuously being at the receiving end, dampens their enthusiasm as students pursuing agriculture, and they want it to stop, “We want our teachers, general science and art students to know that without agric nothing is possible now. Wealth is now in the dirt,” they proclaimed.
Their words received rousing applause from their friends and resource persons who were present. Some tears were even shed, and consequently, the mentors, trainers and coaches who had been with them throughout the five days; guiding their efforts, as well as teaching inspiring them, used the opportunity to drum home more words of empowerment.
For her part, the Member of Parliament for the Korle-Klottey Constituency, and Patron of the AG-STUD Bootcamp, Hon. Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, urged the agric-students and beginner agribusinesses to continue courageously on their chosen path and be assured of consistent and sustainable support from all stakeholders. “I cannot imagine why anyone will possibly think of demeaning agric as a subject. Everyone needs food and agric is the basis of that. It is the science behind the production of any kind of food. Anyone who does not understand the value of agric to human existence, does not understand why we are here. So be assured, you are in the right path,” she said.
To buttress her point, the Member of Parliament donated three new laptops to the Bootcamp, which she hoped would help the participants execute their tasks and assignments during the period. She encouraged the agri-students to work together, and have the confidence they are making a difference as young agripreneurs.
“I am encouraged by the fact that we have two secondary schools here. Do not let anyone discourage you. Bear in mind, you have heavyweights in this room and some who are not here but have been with you throughout the sessions, who understand your value and are willing to invest in you. Every time you feel like you are struggling, just look around, reach out, you are not alone. We are here for you,” she encouraged.
For his part, the Country Manager of OCP Africa said encouraged the students to hit the ground running with their agribusiness ideas as they went back to their campuses. “You are not going back the same as you came. As you go back to school, you should be different from your colleagues. You should standout out, because you are going back as potential agripreneurs,” he stressed.
He said OCP would continue to offer support to the Bootcamp, to ensure its scale-up and further impacts. In the past five years, OCP Africa has been sponsors of the annual AG-STUD-Bootcamp, providing financial and technical support that have helped to empower, equip, scale-up and build the capacity of over 1,200 participants. Annual Campers have been beneficiaries of free bags of fertilizers, mentorship, agronomic services, and soil testing services.
For his part the CEO of MyBarnes Limited, Mr. Kenneth Barnes, underscored the need for perseverance and courage in the face of challenges and discouragements. He said, “You will face challenges in this sector, but the burning desire will help you overcome them. At MyBarnes we have had our share of difficulties, but we continue to build on our interest and speed. I will encourage you to do the same; if you have passion, faith and a burning desire to achieve, you will overcome the challenges.”
In a short address read on his behalf the Managing Director of Agricultural Development Bank, Dr. John Kofi Mensah described investing in agriculture as a game-changer, and therefore commended the agric-students for choosing to build a life and make a live as agric value chain actors. He added, “ADB is proud to be associated with the Agrihouse brand, and we are committed to deepen our involvement in your programs in future. ADB and Agrihouse share a common noble vision, which is to promote and take agribusiness to the next level. Our continuous support for agrihouse activities is borne out of the fact that Agrihouse serves as a complement to the role ADB is playing in the agric space. With this great partnership and collaboration, underpinned by unity of purpose, ADB and Agrihouse will push the agribusiness agenda to assume its rightful place in the national discourse”
The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, brought the 5-day Bootcamp to a close by expressing gratitude to all sponsors and collaborating institutions of this year’s event. Sponsors including, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), OCP, Broadspectrum, Nanam Ventures, Bdiet, Kofi Venyo and Demeter. Collaborating Institutions are the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG); and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
She also expressed gratitude to all resources persons who served the vision of the Bootcamp in the capacities of mentors, trainers, coaches and speakers. She also used the opportunity to encourage the students to remain focused and determined as they worked towards building sustainable careers within the agric value chain. She urged them to make the most of the practical lessons they have received, as well as the inceptives and support packages the bootcamp has afforded them.
About 5th AG-STUD Bootcamp
This year, the 70 students-campers are from University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, All Nations University, Ghana Christian University College, Methodist University, University of Energy and Natural resources, University for Development Studies, GH Media School, and Landmark University- Nigeria.
Others include, Fair River Agric Institute, Labone Senior High School, O’Reilly Senior High School, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Accra Girls Senior High School, Accra Academy High School, Ashesi University, and Adidome Agric Institute.
The rest are Asuansi Farm Institute, Damango Agric College, Ejura Agric College, Kwadaso Agric College, Wenchi Farm Institute, Ohawu Agric College, Veterinary College, Northern Youth Hub, Ashaiman Senior High School, Ngleshi Amanfro Senior High School, and Animal Health Institute.
The five (5) day Bootcamp, allows the students to work in teams to develop their art of public speaking, negotiating abilities and presentation skills. The activities further enable them to explore their creative and wear their innovative hats, which is expected to assist them identify challenges and propose solutions, in line with the overall Theme AG-STUD.
For the 5-day period, a number of mentors, coaches, speakers and trainers from various organizations, including ADB, OCP, MOFA, GIPC, FDA, Nanam Ventures, Mobraz, HD+ , Sonal Global, Kofi Venyo, Bdiet and NPRA among others, equip, coach, train and guide the campers through thematic focuses on Communication, E-Agric, and Food Safety Management principles. Others topics include how to attractive limitless investment Agric opportunities, digital marketing, financial proposal development, Do’s and Dont’s in building an Agribusiness and saving the agri-future through talents and creativity and many more.
The role of traditional leadership is an integral aspect of the Ghanaian culture. In Ghana, traditional leaders have for years worked with local government to enhance peace and security and development in their respective districts and communities, as part of contributing to national development.
Chiefs and queen mothers are, in fact, regarded fathers and mothers of their communities; and in this light, are bestowed a number of responsibilities aimed at guiding them to provide social, economic, and cultural empowerment. Responsibilities including presiding over traditional councils to maintain peace, law and order and stimulate community development, formulating general proposals to offer advice to local governments, coordinating developmental plans and initiatives for their communities, and encouraging the payment of tax and levies.
Others include, helping to determine religious matters and give full support to Arts and Culture. They control traditional titles and offices; determine customary laws and practices; and help to accelerate the task of mass mobilization and participation of the people in community development programmes of their respective communities. Importantly, they serve as important links between their communities and the government, while serving advisory and advocacy roles.
The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs (MCRA) has the constitutional mandate to develop effective interface between Government, Religious Bodies and Civil Society on matters relating to Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs for the promotion of peace and good governance. MCRA also operate as the primary and apex body to initiate and formulate appropriate policies for the Chieftaincy and Religious sectors of the country. The Ministry aims to preserve, sustain and integrate the regal, traditional and religious values, norms and practices for national development. Core values including Sovereignty of Traditional Values, Peaceful Religious and Traditional Co-existence, Cultural diversity, Tolerance and Unity, underpin the work of the Ministry.
Aligning with these values, Agrihouse Foundation is also set to host the maiden edition of “Gathering of the Royals,” as a standalone event. For the past three years, Gathering of the Royals has been organized as a part of the Women in Food and Agric Leadership Training Forum and the Gold in the Soil Awards, which has since 2019 been empowering women farmers to develop their agricultural skills; motivating mentoring and helping them build on their capabilities as women in agriculture. The first edition was held in the Volta Region; the second in the Ashanti Region and the third in the Upper East Region.
This year, the fourth and independent edition of the event, has been scheduled to take place in the Greater Accra Region, on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at the GNAT Conference Hall, on the theme, “The Role of Royals in Accelerating Agri-Peace and Developing Sustainable Farmers,” with special focus on the work of Queen Mothers, in relations to farming and agriculture in their regions, districts and communities.
The title of “queen mother” indeed relays a rank of authority within Ghanaians traditional community. Queen Mothers are responsible for designating the next chief, providing wise counsel to the chief and his elders, rallying all women together, and keeping an eye on the social conditions within the society. Queen mothers are selected from the royal family of each town and village. It is the head of the royal family and the elders who choose both the chief and the queen mother, a pair that might be related to one another.Today, Queen mothers are adapting to the changing world and the position has remained vital.
To better serve as agents of empowerment who are contributing significantly to social and economic changes in their communities, queen mothers are continuously reexamining their roles and are exploring more development and partnership opportunities to attain their goals. They are starting businesses, non-governmental organizations and heading various projects and initiatives in their districts and communities, which are contributing positively to the lives of their people.
In line with these developments, Agrihouse Foundation is bringing together fifty (50) queen mothers, with representatives also from Academia, policy, Government, development agencies and Agric institutions, to explore further opportunities within the agric sector, as well as conflict resolutions alternatives towards Peace-building, and the development of sustainable farmers in the country. Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, has described the event, ‘GATHERING OF THE ROYALS,’ as a much-needed intervention, that will contribute significantly to policy direction and structuring of innovative Agricultural systems and approaches.
She said the event is aimed at making room for royals and corporate leaders, to digest issues pertaining to food security and self-sufficiency, which can help to stabilize and sustain farmers at the community levels. “We are positive by the end of the meeting, dialogues and conversations, we would have contributed to creating sustainable working relationships that strengthen collaborative efforts between our corporate bodies, stakeholders and traditional leaderships,” she has noted in a press release.
According to the Executive Director, the queen mothers will engage in an interrupted panel conversation to discuss major concerns hindering the growth and sustainability of women farmers in their districts and communities. They will touch on concerns such as access to funds and ready market; warehouse and storage facilities, cost of transportation at supply and delivery points, Fulani Herdsmen, and Elephant Invasion, Illegal Small scale – farming, FDA certification, child trafficking and child labour, among others, siting case studies of developmental projects and interventions they are spearheading in their districts and communities.
A strong case study is in Manya Krobo in the Eastern region, where queen mothers have started the Manya Krobo Queen Mothers Association (MKQMA) in order to help children who have been orphaned because of HIV and AIDS. The group was started by Nana Okleyo. Studies of the association’s work in the Manya Krobo District shows that it was a good model of how to address the issue of orphans in Ghana and West Africa. There are approximately 370 queen mothers involved in MKQMA. In addition, the MKQMA, under the leadership of Manye Esther, has developed HIV/AIDS prevention programs and helped support more than 400 orphans.
Another case study, recently published in Thomson Reuter Foundation, reveals some 10,000 Queen Mothers in Ghana are supporting and empowering their communities by bringing social and economic changes to women and children across the country. According to the article, in the Lawra Traditional Area in the upper western corner of Ghana, Queen Mothers are very influential at grassroots level, “especially among women,” says Dogkudome Tegzuylle I, a midwife in Lawra town and the Pognaa (Queen Mother) of Lyssah. To support themselves as women, the Queen Mothers have created small income-generating projects based on their community’s natural resources, such as shea butter. They have initiated soap making, beekeeping and hairdressing groups, as well as informal savings and loan clubs.
More of such relevant positive socio-economic impacts will be highlighted among the eight queen mothers from Bono East, West-North, Ashanti, Eastern, Western, Oti, Upper East, Upper West and Greater Accra region, who will be partiicpanting in the Panel Conversation expected to take place at the event, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, has noted.
The panel conversation is expected to create room for the queen mothers to elaborate on Agricultural development initiatives they are championing in their various clans and districts. The challenges and modules that are proving successful and how working with relevant stakeholders can add to the social and economic impacts they are making in their regions, districts and communities. They are expected to touch on concerns such as; inappropriate farming methods and practices and it effect on growth, access to funds, ready market; warehouse, storage facilities, cost of transportation at supply and delivery points.
They will also touch on issues relating to Fulani Herdsmen, Elephant Invasion, Illegal Small scale – farming, child trafficking, lands, child labour, FDA certification, operations of Agric input dealers, machinery and equipment, Irrigation systems, over reiliance on rains and other related issues, influencing resilience building and stability of farmers and farming activities. The event will also allow for feedback and input from present participants on solution-oriented measures that can positively influence Agricultural growth, enhance livelihoods and contribute to food security within their respective communities.
“At the end of the event, we are expecting to have come-up with workable solutions and built a closer working relationship between traditional authorities, corporate bodies, Academia, development partners, Government agencies, among others. We believe, we would have also assisted to project ground issues, that could direct and inform policy,” Alberta emphasized.
She said the event presents an opportunity for Traditional leaders to work closely with governments, businesses, development partners, academia and civil society to galvanize sound policies, actions and leadership that will enable transformations required to create inclusive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems that deliver for people, planet and prosperity.
The event further creates an atmosphere for productive and healthy conversations to take place, among traditional leaders, selected parliamentarians, development partners and the corporative institutions, to ignite collaborations in strategic areas for high impacts, and provide practical, realistic and achievable solutions for Peace and Agri-development,” she emphasized.
It is also expected to highlight the wealth of our natural resources, the large, young and growing Agri-population; the potentials and the right opportunities for Agri-business growth and development, whiles drilling down into the key issues, with case studies focusing on our Regional Agricultural strengths and serve as a networking opportunity for agric stakeholders, whiles celebrating the many dynamic efforts of our traditional leaders.
The Gathering of Royals event has over the last 3 years, been held as part of the Women in Food and Agric Leadership Training Forum and the Gold in the Soil Awards, which is annually sponsored by the Canadian High Commission, Yara Ghana, ABSA, OCP and RDF Ghana LBG. “The 1st was held in the Volta Region, 2nd in the Ashanti Region and 3rd in the Upper East Region. It is being held as an independent event, for the 4th time, here in the Greater Accra Region,” she said.
Touching on the need for partnerships in support of such relevant initiatives, Ms. Alberta Nana Aykaa Akosa Sarpong, has noted that investing in the country’s agric sector is an practical way of creating sustainable wealth for families and communities. She has therefore called on corporate organisations, government agencies, civic society organizations, financial institutions, among others, to continue supporting Agrihouse Foundation, as the organization aims to influence the country’s agricultural sector positively by initiating projects and events that educate, train and build the capacity of farmers and all value chain actors in the country.
Fifty (50) queen mothers, together with representatives from Academia, policy, Government, development agencies and Agric institutions, will be converging at the GNAT Conference Hall – Accra, to explore further opportunities within the agric sector, as well as conflict resolutions alternatives towards Peace-building, and the development of sustainable farmers in the country.
An initiative of Agrihouse Foundation, the developmental-Influencing event, which has been scheduled for Tuesday, Feburary 22, 2022, is on the theme, “The Role of Royals in Accelerating Agri-Peace and Developing Sustainable Farmers”.
In a press statement, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, described GATHERING OF THE ROYALS, as a much-needed intervention, that will contribute significantly to policy direction, assist in structuring appropriate approaches, practices, systems and innovations for a sustained agricultural value and growth, from the community level to the top level.
She said, the focused interractive event, will also make room for royals, traditional authorities, community leaders and corporate leaders, to digest issues pertaining to food security and self-sufficiency, which can further help to stabilize and sustain farmers at the community levels.
“We are positive by the end of the event, we would have contributed to creating a sustainable working relationships, that strengthen collaborative efforts between our corporate bodies, stakeholders and traditional leaderships,” she said.
As part of the half-day event, there will be a Panel conversation, which will see eight (8) queen-mothers from Bono East, West-North, Ashanti, Eastern, Western, Oti, Upper East, Upper West and Greater Accra region, elaborate on Agricultural development initiatives they are championing in their various clans and districts. The challenges and modules that are proving successful and how working with relevant stakeholders can add to the social and economic impacts they are making in their regions, districts and communities.
The Queen Mothers will have an interrupted session to discuss major concerns hindering the growth and sustainability of women farmers in their districts and communities. They are expected to touch on concerns such as; inappropriate farming methods and practices and it effect on growth, access to funds, ready market; warehouse, storage facilities, cost of transportation at supply and delivery points.
They will also touch on issues relating to Fulani Herdsmen, Elephant Invasion, Illegal Small scale – farming, child trafficking, lands, child labour, FDA certification, operations of Agric input dealers, machinery and equipment, Irrigation systems, over reiliance on rains and other related issues, influencing resilience building and stability of farmers and farming activities.
The event will also allow for feedback and input from present participants on solution-oriented measures that can positively influence Agricultural growth, enhance livelihoods and contribute to food security within their respective communities.
“At the end of the event, we are expecting to have come-up with workable solutions and built a closer working relationship between traditional authorities, corporate bodies, Academia, development partners, Government agencies, among others. We believe, we would have also assisted to project ground issues, that could direct and inform policy, Alberta emphasized.
The Royals presents an opportunity for Traditional leaders to work closely with governments, businesses, development partners, academia and civil society to galvanize sound policies, actions and leadership that will enable transformations required to create inclusive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems that deliver for people, planet and prosperity.
The event creates an atmosphere for productive and healthy conversations to take place, among traditional leaders, selected parliamentarians, development partners and the corporative institutions, to ignite collaborations in strategic areas for high impacts, and provide practical, realistic and achievable solutions for Peace and Agri-development,” she emphasized.
It is also expected to highlight the wealth of our natural resources, the large, young and growing Agri-population; the potentials and the right opportunities for Agri-business growth and development, whiles drilling down into the key issues, with case studies focusing on our Regional Agricultural strengths and serve as a networking opportunity for agric stakeholders, whiles celebrating the many dynamic efforts of our traditional leaders.
The Gathering of Royals event has over the last 3 years, been held as part of the Women in Food and Agric Leadership Training Forum and the Gold in the Soil Awards, which is annually sponsored by the Canadian High Commission, Yara Ghana, ABSA, OCP and RDF Ghana LBG.
The 1st was held in the Volta Region, 2nd in the Ashanti Region and 3rd in the Upper East Region.
It is being held as an independent event, for the 4th time, here in the Greater Accra Region.
This year Agrihouse Foundation will be guided by the theme, “Our Year of Working Smart to Strengthen our Impact on Farmers and Value Chain Actors,” Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, has state.
According to the Executive Director, among other objectives, the theme is expected to guide Agrihouse to strengthen its existing relationships with its stakeholders; establish new relationships that will enable the team accomplish more socio-economic impacts within the country’s agricultural value chain, this year.
“Working smart also means doubling our efforts; using all available channels to better tell our impact stories; scale up in areas where we are lacking, while driving new initiatives and building bridges to close existing gabs within the agricultural sector,” she said.
In the past seven years, Agrihouse Foundation has been at the forefront of promoting and changing the negative perceptions surrounding agriculture, through tactical programs and initiatives for students, women, farmers, farming associations, agribusinesses and the entire actors within the value chain.
The interventional projects and events focus on empowerment, grooming, leadership, best practices, and management training programs that lead to effecting positive changes in the minds, field, and economic status of stakeholders, and in the communities in which the organization operates. Agrihouse foundation further undertakes agri-focused exhibitions, trade promotions, research and communications, concept development and investor relations.
“The goal is to driving and shape the Agricultural conversations in Ghana and beyond. We have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the agric. sector, media overview and its dynamics,” Alberta noted in an interview.
She said the Foundation desires to create focused platforms, dedicated to increasing innovation, communication, advocacy, and initiate highly impactful agriculture projects that cut across all sex and acts: men, women, students, farmers, governments.
“The Foundation works in close collaboration with its sister company, Agrihouse Communications,” she revealed, “We derive satisfaction in making agriculture lively, exciting and competitive. Our dedication to agriculture is our fuel and we are excited to see people involved and committed to the projects we bring to life,” she said. The team at Agrihouse Foundation, with a combined experience of thirty years, is passionate about initiating and driving projects that address issues and challenges in the agriculture sector. These projects include the following:
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 four years, AG-STUD-AFRICA, has benefitted over 1000 agribusiness students and beginner agribusinesses develop strong and bankable business plans. The bootcamp has empowered over 500 students from 30 different schools have 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. This year, AG-STUD is expected to come off from March 28 to April 1.
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. Since the first edition, LiPF has engaged over 50,000 sub holder farmers with a significant percentage of them expressing interest in animal agriculture. Feedback received from the previous editions reveal that 87% of participants are very impressed with the event and want more training in poultry, piggery, rabbit, cattle, and piggery farm; 90% say that LiPF is a perfect introductory training platform for people who want to venture in animal agricultural production. This year, the two-day event has been scheduled to come off from May 5 to May 6.
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. In 2019, almost a quarter 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 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. This year, WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards is scheduled to come off from June 22 to June 23.
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. The three-day event will come off from October 5 to October 7.
1 household, 1 Garden Initiative (1h,1g):The 1 household, 1 garden is an initiative collaterally intended to further scaleup 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 1household, 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. The hope is this national home gardening agenda will ensure a liberal supply of quality food to Ghanaians, while waiting for Covid-19 to decline. Thus, Agrihouse assists households set up a home vegetable garden, provide training, seedlings of 12 assorted vegetables, fertilizers and gardening tools, and also provide some level of supervision to interested households.
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. The event is expected to resume at the forecourts of Agrihouse Foundation, in March, this year.
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.
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.
Our Gratitude to Sponsors, Partners and Beneficiaries
Expressing her gratitude, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, noted that Agrihouse Foundation has never been alone on this journey of driving social and economic impacts and sustainability within the country’s agricultural sector. She therefore extended her immense gratitude to all corporate organizations and sponsors, organizing partners and collaborating institutions, stakeholders and beneficiaries who have for years committed to the growth and sustainability of the interventional initiatives designed and implemented by Agrious Foundation. “This year we are going to work smarter,” she reiterated, “the team is set to scale up on our initiatives to make more impacts in the lives of farmers and all other actors within the value chain.”
Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa has reiterated the need for improved agri-financing, knowledge sharing, and building resilience within the country’s agric sector.
She said, such efforts, when invested in and scaled up would enable the creation and sustainability of an effective agri-foods market, that will serve the country efficiently, beyond the pandemic.
In light of this year’s theme for the 3-days event, “Working Together to Improve Market Channels for Agri-foods Beyond the Pandemic,” she has urged government and private stockholders within the sector to invest in value chain partnerships that would propel sustained development within the value chain.
“The pandemic has taught us the need for preparedness. And now is the time for all us to work together, both private and public stakeholders, to scale-up value chain initiatives like this one— the Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions, as a modern module for the continuous growth and transformation of market systems for Agri-foods,” she said.
She further called for more support for the establishment of the ‘Agrihouse Agri-Village,’ which she said, would be a home for hundreds of agribusinesses in the country, whiles supporting to fully commercializing the sector.
The venue, she explained, would house different type of farm sites; Demonstration Centers Conference and Workshop halls, Restrooms, Exhibition stores for Agric Companies, Training and Recreational Centers, Storage and Processing Centers, Production rooms, and Laboratories and Research Centers.
“We are committed to this vision at Agrihouse Foundation, and I will therefore use this opportunity to call on our sponsors, corporate bodies, government and collaborating agencies, financial institutions, media partners, and development partners to stand boldly with us in these times, to commit and invest in this vision a reality,” she said.
Ms. Akosa made these comments at the recent 3-days 11th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions, organized by Agrihouse Foundation, in Tamale, in the Northern from Tuesday, 19 October to Thursday, 21 October.
This year’s event was in collaboration with the Northern Regional Coordinating Council – NRCC, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).
Sponsors of the event were YARA, Ecobank Ghana PLC, World Food Programme, ADB-Agricultural Development Bank, GIZ MOAP, Demeter Ghana Limited, United Fertilizers Company Limited (UFCL), and HD PLUS.
For his part, the Northern Regional Minister, hon. Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, noted that although agriculture accounts for over 74% of northern Ghana’s employment, the rich and diverse agricultural potential of the region was largely untapped.
“It is against this background that, we here in the north, appreciating the measurable gains we are seeing in our region here in the north since the advent of the Pre-Harvest event” he underscored.
He said the platform has over the years, become an avenue that pulls together the largest number of agricultural value chain actors and agribusinesses in Ghana; consequently, helping farmers and agribusinesses to access new market opportunities, increase their knowledge and improved their higher yields annually.
“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I should say that it has become rightly imperative that we all Work together to support the Preharvest event platform. That is the only practical way of ensuring that, ultimately, the desired growth and transformation of Ghana’s Northern Regions’ agricultural sector would be achieved,” he noted.
The West African Regional Director of YARA, Mr. Danquah Addo Yobo, for his part reiterated YARA’s commitment to the country’s agric sector, especially, to agricultural activities and farmers in the Northern regions of the country.
He revealed YARA has launched a new Mobile App, called “Farm Go,” to help farmers predict weather conditions accurately; which will enable them plan their farming activities, maximize their time to ensure more productivity.
“When we launched it this year, we were expecting that we will have about 2,500 downloads to end the year and then build up from there; today we have about 10, 000 farmers that have downloaded the app. We are very encouraged and it is our show of support,” he said.
He said YARA has in this year, also launched the ‘Sustainable Soya beans Production in Northern Ghana,’ Project, which underscores the importance of soya production in the Northern region; how it influences food security and the regions poultry sector.
“It is a four year project being supported by NORAD, a Norwegian fund. We expect that in the four years, we will reach at least a 100, 000 soya farmers. It is a value chain approach, so we are working with aggregators, processors, and the poultry industry. Just as we have been able to build the pre-harvest project we Agrihouse, we want to build the project that will create sustainability after the four years,” he said.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Mr. Dan Sarkey, noted that even in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the country’s agricultural sector has proven very resilient, by demonstrating a historic highest cocoa production last year.
He said Ecobank recognizes the importance of agriculture to the country’s economy, and that is why, “we continue to strengthen and grow our agribusiness portfolio as a means to positively impact our communities in job creation and increased agricultural productivity,” he stressed.
In light of this, he said Ecobank has setup the agribusiness desk under the commercial banking division of the bank. He said Ecobank has further financed the Wenchi and Tain Maize Farmers Federation (WTMFF), a farmer-based organization made up of 61 FBO’s with membership of 1,800 out of which 45 percent are women, to cultivate 1970 acres of maize to meet supply contract of the Yedent Group of Companies.
“Ecobank’s financing also directly impacted input suppliers of weedicides, pesticides, fertilizers, tractors and all the needed agricultural implements for farming,” he added.
He urged farmers and all other value chain stakeholders at the opening ceremony of the 11th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions, to embrace Ecobank’s digital products such as Ecobank Mobile, Ecobank Paywith, Ecobank online, and Ecobank OmniLite, which are available for collections, transfers and payments, which constitute the frequently used banking activities of farmers.
A representative of Agricultural Development Bank, Mr. Fredrick Yaw Opoku, noted that ADB’s commitment to the agricultural sector remains unmatched, especially, since 2017 when a new board and management team was put in place with the mandate to refocus the core direction of agricultural financing.
“We launched the Broiler Value Chain Programme in 2020 with an estimated amount of 500 million Ghana cedis, seeking to revitalize the broiler subsector and to put an end to the huge foreign exchange spent on yearly basis to import poultry into the country,” he revealed.
He said the bank continues to increase its lending to the agricultural sector, with the aim of meeting the strategic objective of increasing the share of agricultural loans to at least 50 percent of the total loan portfolio.
The Chief of Bamvim Traditional Area, Bamvim-Lana, Alhaji Mahama Abdulai ll, for his part noted that, o ver the last ten years, the Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference has become one of the key events that has supported the growth and development of Agriculture in Northern Ghana.
He said the platform has been very consistent annually, growing strong and linking farmers to Agro Input dealers, Agricultural machinery and equipment dealers, Aggregators and farm produce buyers.
“I can confidently and unequivocally state that the Pre-Harvest Conference and Exhibition is one of the leading if not the leading agricultural conferences and market platforms in Ghana,” he said.
For her part, the Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Hajia Hawa Musah, described this year’s theme as time and appropriate, considering the negative impacts the COVID-19 Pandemic has had on all sectors of the national economy, the agric sector included.
“However I want to assure you that there is no cause for alarm. We pray for more showers of rain to record a bumper harvest,” she added.
She said even though the region has inadequate machinery and equipment for timely harvesting, now is the time for government and private stakeholders in the agric sector to invest in machinery to help reduces effects like post-harvest losses.
11th Pre-harvest Exhibitions and Conference Activities
The 3-days leading market linkage event opened on Tuesday, October 19th, and run until Thursday, October 21. The edition, which was on theme “Working Together to Improve Market Channels for Agri-foods Beyond the Pandemic,” took place at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium, in Tamale in the Northern region.
The leading agribusiness market linkage conference and exhibitions event, featured major training and capacity session, such as, commodity breakout session, farmer-buyer matchmaking dialogues, showcasing successful agribusiness modules, exhibitions, agri-youth forum, gender workshop, development partner panel conversation, and practical field demonstrations exercises.
The event further highlighted and addressed the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified within the sector, the effects it has posed on marketing Agri-foods, while exploring existing market channels to address these challenges.
A key highlight of the 3-day event was the Field demonstrations, where farmers and actors got to practically learn, appreciate and adopt best practices in Farm Management. This took place at the Agrihouse Foundation AGRI-VILLAGE, a Ten (10) acre land, donated by the Bamvim Lana (Chief of Bamvim.
In the short to long term, the Agrihouse Foundation Agri-village is expected to house different type of demonstrations farms (including seeds and Livestock Farms), Demonstration Centres, Conference / Workshop halls, Restrooms, Exhibition stores for Agric Companies, Training and Recreational Centres, Storage space, Processing Centres, Production room, Laboratories and Research Centres.
Impacts of Pre-harvest Over the Years
Pre-harvest has created and continues to connect, through exhibitions, and training sessions, companies that are into fertilizers, seeds, Irrigation, machinery and equipment, Finance, Transportation, ICT, Processors, Packagers, Marketers, Government Institutions, Development Partners, among others. Over 90% of companies and participants have been linked to markets through the Exhibitions.
Pre-harvest has become a leading event on the Ghanaian agricultural calendar and has served as a stimulating platform for training, and for creating increased stakeholder linkages, exhibitions and expanded opportunities. It operates from a facilitative dimension by presenting a highly engaging and coordinated platform that ensures that smallholder farmers are connected to markets, finance, inputs, equipment, and information.
These activities are geared towards capturing the marketing challenges faced by the actors especially in the pandemic and how other modernized marketing platforms can serve as a solution to maximize the output of the actors along the value chain. Farmers, actors along the value chain and participants will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to observe Good Agricultural Practices.
This year’s 3-days event (2021 11th edition) recorded 118 Exhibitors including farmers, traders, commodity brokers, input companies, machinery and equipment providers, transporters, financial institutions, ICT, Innovations, Poultry and Livestock companies, packaging and processing companies, development practitioners and government agencies, among others. It made room for 3200 Participants; 32 FBO’s from different regions and districts who represented over 300, 000 farmers of rice, maize, soyabeans, sorghum, millet, groundnut, vegetables, yam and tubers, etc. A total of 46 buyers negotiated and signed deals with farmers.
In 2020, (10th edition) the event recorded a total of 3,122 participants and 122 exhibitors including farmers, traders, commodity brokers, input companies, machinery and equipment providers, transporters, financial institutions, ICT, Innovations, Poultry and Livestock companies, packaging and processing companies, development practitioners and government agencies, among others.
Report on the 2019 event showed that about 70 business deals were made during the Exhibition. More than GHS232, 420, 745 of agri products and equipment were sold and bought. The event has improved the livelihoods of the players along the value chain by boosting their confidence i.e. created a stimulus platform for collaborating with other actors for business deals/increased stakeholders linkages.
It has given agro-processors a strong drive to access their raw materials locally, agribusiness development, grown the local economy through the expansion of agribusiness opportunities and has become a platform of growth for agribusiness entrepreneurs. The event will remain one of the leading events in the country, where farmers, businesses, government and ideas meet to network, build capacity, learn and explore business opportunities, sign deals and close contracts.
In 2018, the event won the Agribusiness event of the Year, for helping to promotes business partnerships among value chain actors, especially farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers, equipment dealers, financial institutions, telecom companies and policy makers. Over the years, through continuous improvement, it has accelerated the transformation of agribusiness in Northern Ghana, alongside Government’s initiatives.