Agrihouse Foundation, in collaboration with the Queen Mothers Foundation, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, will on Thursday, February 29, 2024 host the 6th annual Gathering of The Royals .
The event to be held at the GNAT Hall in Accra, under the theme “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Gender Equality in Agriculture and Honoring Women’s Advancement,”, promises a day packed with enlightening discussions and valuable networking opportunities.
Speaking at the press briefing for the 6th Gathering of the Royals, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, outlined the event’s objective to delve into issues surrounding gender and its impact on advancing and nurturing sustainable women farmers across various regions of Ghana. delving into the pivotal roles of queen-mothers in spearheading agricultural growth, development, and change within their respective regions.
Ms. Akosa passionately emphasized the significance of this year’s Gathering of The Royals as a strategic platform for influencing policy directions, forging stronger partnerships among traditional leaders, and driving comprehensive growth in the agricultural sector.
Speaking ardently about the theme, “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Gender Equality in Agriculture and Honoring Women’s Advancement,” Ms.Akosa ,underlined the pressing need to address gender disparities within the agricultural landscape.
The Executive Director stressed the theme’s emphasis on cultivating gender equality in agriculture, advocating for concerted efforts to empower women in agribusiness and afford them equal opportunities for growth and advancement. Ms. Akosa highlighted the indispensable role of women in agriculture, while lamenting the systemic barriers they often encounter, hindering their full participation and contribution to the sector’s development.
Through this year’s event, Ms. Akosa reiterated the intention to celebrate and honor the achievements of women in agriculture, alongside championing meaningful policy interventions and support systems that promote gender equality. She emphasized the importance of fostering an inclusive agricultural ecosystem that recognizes and values the contributions of women farmers, entrepreneurs, and leaders.
The Queen Mother for Kwamankese Traditional Area , Nana Kobiiwaa Ackwah, speaking on behalf of the President of the Queen Mothers Foundation, Nana Serwaa Bonsu, at the press briefing, stated the crucial role of Queen Mothers in driving agricultural development within their communities.
“Queen mothers are the backbone of their communities,” Ackwah stated, highlighting their firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in their regions. She stressed the importance of leveraging this knowledge and expertise through collaboration with Agrihouse Foundation to find innovative solutions that can positively impact the agricultural sector across Ghana.
Nana Kobiiwaa Ackwah, shared that the Queen Mothers Foundation of Ghana has been actively involved in empowering women in agriculture, providing training and resources to enhance their skills and productivity. She urged the need for continued support and partnerships to ensure the success and sustainability of these initiatives.
She expressed gratitude to Agrihouse Foundation for consistently creating platforms to address agricultural issues through various initiatives, reiterating their commitment to creating an inclusive and collaborative environment where the voices of queen mothers are heard, respected, and valued
In the midst of Ghana’s election year, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, has emphasized the critical need to maintain and promote agricultural peace and development within farming communities.
Addressing attendees at the press briefing for the 6th Gathering of Royals, held under the theme “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Gender Equality in Agriculture and Honouring Women’s Advancement,” at the Ghana Tourist Information Center on Monday, February 12th, 2024, Ms. Akosa underscored the importance of prioritizing agricultural stability, particularly in the current political climate.
“In this electioneering period, it is imperative that we maintain and promote Agri-peace and development within our farming communities,” stated Ms. Akosa. “The agricultural sector is the backbone of our nation’s economy, and ensuring its stability devoid of any form of political violence is crucial for sustainable development.”
Ms. Akosa reiterated Agrihouse Foundation’s commitment to supporting and empowering farming communities, emphasizing the role of collaboration and collective action in driving positive change.
“As we navigate through this election year, let us remain steadfast in our efforts to promote agricultural peace and development,” urged Ms. Akosa. “By working together, we can build a brighter future for our farming communities and ensure the prosperity of our nation.”
the Executive Director also called upon politicians and stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to join hands in this endeavor. “I urge politicians to prioritize agricultural peace and development in their agendas. Stakeholders in the agricultural value chain should actively engage in promoting dialogue and cooperation to address challenges and seize opportunities in our agricultural sector,” she emphasized.
Furthermore, Ms. Akosa highlighted that the 6th Gathering of Royals, set to take place on Thursday, February 29th, 2024, at the GNAT Hall in Accra,under the theme “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Gender Equality in Agriculture and Honouring Women’s Advancement,” will actively seek to achieve this call to action. The event aims to foster dialogue, collaboration, and concrete action towards promoting agricultural peace and development.
The 6th Gathering of Royals, set to take place on Thursday, February 29th, 2024, under the theme “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Gender Equality in Agriculture and Honouring Women’s Advancement,” will also aim to further the discussion on agricultural development and empowerment. With a focus on promoting gender equality and honoring women’s contributions in agriculture, the event seeks to inspire meaningful change and foster sustainable growth.
Agribusiness enthusiasts and aspiring Agripreneurs have a golden opportunity to delve into the intricacies of Carrot Oil Production at Agrihouse Foundation’s sixth Monthly Executive Beginner Agribusiness Masterclass, slated for Friday, February 29th, 2024, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Agrihouse Training Centre in Dzorwulu.
The sixth Monthly Executive Agribusiness Masterclass aims to equip participants with comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in carrot oil production, for a fee of three hundred Ghana cedis (GHC 300.00), attendees will gain access to expert-led sessions covering topics such as, introduction to carrot oil production, raw material sourcing, equipment overview, carrot oil extraction techniques, quality control, and the filtration/purification of carrot oil.
Additionally, the class will delve into packaging, branding, and effective marketing strategies for carrot oil products.
As the agricultural landscape continues to evolve, Agrihouse Foundation remains committed to empowering individuals in the agribusiness sector.
The 6th Monthly Executive Agribusiness Masterclass presents a unique opportunity for individuals looking to diversify their skills in the agricultural sector. By attending, participants will gain valuable insights from industry experts, acquire practical experience, and be well-equipped to embark on successful ventures in carrot oil production.
Whether you’re a seasoned agribusiness professional or a novice looking to explore the world of agriculture, this masterclass promises to provide valuable insights and hands-on knowledge to drive success in the ever-evolving agribusiness landscape.
Don’t miss this chance to enhance your skills and become a proficient carrot oil producer. Secure your spot now for the 6th Monthly Executive Agribusiness Masterclass in Carrot Oil Production.
Click on the link: https://forms.gle/KcsTVA9MLJju2BzM9 to register for the 6th Monthly Executive Beginner Masterclass in Carrot Oil Making or contact Debbie on 0541555606, Josephine :0571898137 and Alberta on 0244623012
Agrihouse Foundation extends a warm welcome back to our esteemed Sponsors, Partners,agricultural community and Ghanaians ,With renewed enthusiasm and a fresh surge of energy, we embark on a new chapter dedicated to fostering growth and innovation in the agricultural landscape.
The preceding years was a testament to our collective commitment to sustainable agriculture and rural development. Together, we’ve cultivated projects that left a lasting impact, disseminated agricultural knowledge, and sowed the seeds of positive change in communities nationwide.
In 2024, our excitement knows no bounds as we prepare to empower and improve the agricultural sector through our various initiatives, including the 6th Gathering of the Royals, 7th Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD), 6th Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC), Gold in the Soil Award
also anticipate the 3RD Ghana Poultry Day , 14th Preharvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions, 3rd “Is it Possible” Monthly Agribusiness Skills and Jobs for the Youth Roadshow with Dr. Zee, 5th Livestock, Poultry, and Fisheries Tradeshow (LiPF), 13th Agriwoman Marketplace, Monthly Beginner Agribusiness Masterclass, AgriFemale Monthly Beginner Masterclass Training, International Cassava Fair, Nebraska-Ghana Trade and Investment Program, and Husker Harvest Days in Nebraska, USA, among others.
This year, we will also unveil a lineup of new projects poised to elevate our impact and empower the agricultural sector even further. Among the initiatives in the pipeline are, the 1st Ghana Agrochemical & Crop Protection Exhibitions & Awards (GACA), Slovenia Agric Fair (Agra Fair), and the International Chocolate Fair in Slovenia, among others.
The Executive Director for Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa expresses great enthusiasm for the this year, emphasizing our commitment to empowering farmers and transforming the agricultural landscape. The diverse range of initiatives reflects our dedication to addressing key challenges and fostering sustainable growth. We look forward to collaborating with stakeholders and partners to make a lasting impact on the agricultural community.”
‘’As our theme for the year is “Harvesting Hope,” we are not merely embracing a tagline but a profound commitment that resonates with our mission. We are dedicated to fostering a future where hope flourishes, farmers are empowered with knowledge and resources, and lives are enriched through sustainable agricultural practices.
This theme underscores our belief in the transformative power of agriculture as a catalyst for positive change. We envision a landscape where every harvest brings not only sustenance but also hope for a better future. By empowering farmers with the tools, they need and enriching their lives through holistic development, we aspire to create a ripple effect that extends to entire communities.
In 2024, this theme serves as our compass, directing our initiatives and projects towards outcomes that align with the ethos of “Harvesting Hope, Empowering Farmers, and Enriching Lives.” It is a rallying call for all stakeholders to join hands in cultivating a resilient and prosperous agricultural sector that uplifts not only the farmers but the entire nation.
BY AGRIWATCH REPORTER
Our earlier news story titled “Cassava – Ghana’s Next Gold Mine,” has generated thoughtful conversations, with sound feedbacks, responses and submissions, from industry players, among whom include Cassava farmers, Processors, Academia, Development agencies, investors, researchers, beginner agribusinesses, individuals who desire to explore opportunities within value added cassava, and many others.
With this development, we decided to look at another phase and angle of the news story, by engaging stakeholders, to determine, if they agree with our assertion, that CASSAVA – IS GHANA’S NEXT GOLD MINE! And with the necessary attention and focus for growth, cassava could indeed become Ghana’s next cocoa and gold mine.
Cassava, despite its potential to significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth, often remains overshadowed by traditional agricultural giants like cocoa and gold.
The staple consumed in many Ghanaian households, silently awaits its emergence as an economic powerhouse. Unfortunately, we are all yet to fully wake up to understand and appreciate the economic windfall that this humble crop can bring.
Ghana is unintentionally missing substantial economic benefits and value addition that cassava could offer.
This versatile crop, capable of boosting revenue streams, lacks the serious consideration and prioritization given to other key and few commodities.
Edwin Siaw, a media practitioner in the Eastern shared that, beyond its economic potential, cassava offers a treasure trove of health benefits.
Recognized for its nutritional richness, cassava provides essential vitamins and minerals.
Additionally, it is known for its potential in preventing and treating certain health conditions, making it a valuable ally in the quest for improved well-being.
We also collectively agree, that cassava boasts a wide array of industrial applications, from pharmaceutical uses to the production of starch and biogas.
Cassava proves to be one of the most easiest to cultivate, a versatile crop with far-reaching benefits, playing a pivotal role in various industrial processes.
However, the growth of the cassava industry faces impediments that stifle its full potential.
The absence of enhanced efficiency machinery, equipment, technology and value addition initiatives and innovations, presents a significant hurdle, preventing the industry from flourishing.
There exists a noticeable gap between acknowledging cassava’s potential and taking concrete steps to unlock its benefits.
Then, we ask? –
Is the slow paced-growth of the cassava industry, have anything to do with Knowledge Gap, lack of information on the prospects or our own attitude to research further and apply an intensive hands-on approach, on how we can exploit the full potential?
Have we thought about what the positives and the impact will be, for our nation, if the youth, women, beginner agribusinesses, investors, etc, are able to grip it?
We commend the women, young ones and many number of individuals, and private companies, who are doing so much within the value added cassava space.
Our Governments have equally taken commendable steps to advance cassava production, exemplified by the establishment of notable, but not-so-functional cassava factories like Ayensu Starch Factory in Awutu Bawjiase, in the Central Region.
There is also CH Global Limited, a cassava and yam processing factory operating under the government’s 1-District-1-Factory initiative, located at Addo Nkwanta in the Krachi East District of the Oti Region and Global Almas Processing Ltd, situated in Bimbilla, Northern Region among others .
Despite these significant developments, it is imperative to acknowledge that there remains substantial work ahead in fully realizing the potential of cassava production in the country.
In a bid to advocate and champion cassava’s cause and draw attention to its untapped potential, Agrihouse Foundation has embarked on an initiatives to bring cassava to the forefront of the agricultural agenda. Holding the franchise for the International Cassava Fair in Brazil, Agrihouse foundation ,orchestrated a delegation visit to Brazil, exposing delegates to global advancements in cassava cultivation, varieties, value chain addition, machinery, and equipment, among other applications.
In our conversation with key figures in the cassava industry, Mr. Daniel Okyere, a farmer and owner of East Midland Farms in Begoro, echoed sentiments, emphasizing that cassava is a crop with immense economic potential, yet Ghana is not fully capitalizing on it.
He pointed out the hurdles faced by farmers who rely on manual tools like cutlasses, highlighting challenges in acquiring more land due to the current land tenure system in Ghana. Mr. Okyere lamented the reluctance of banks to provide loans, stating that the government’s support has primarily come through extension officers.
Expressing the need for significant policy changes, Mr. Okyere urged the government to implement measures supporting cassava farmers, including policies for acquiring machinery and facilitating access to loans for production. He proposed that the government should follow a model similar to the support given to cocoa farmers, suggesting the purchase of locally processed cassava products, such as gari, for schools.
Madam Abigail Ghama, a farmer celebrated for winning the Best Extension Volunteer award in 2013 at the Farmer’s Day in New Juaben North and later receiving the She Innovates Award from Agrihouse Foundation in the Eastern Region in July 2023 at Agrihouse Foundation’s Gold in the Soil Awards, highlighted the challenges faced by cassava farmers. She emphasized the difficulty of using traditional tools like cutlasses and hoes due to the lack of modern machinery for planting.
Madam Abigail Ghama urged the government to consider establishing a funding source specifically for acquiring machinery in cassava production. According to her, this would greatly enhance efficiency and productivity in cassava farming.
Adding her voice, Ivy Edith Opare Yeboah, the Managing Director of Lexvee Agro Processing Ltd situated in the Fanteakwa South District, who specializes in gari processing. Highlighting the significance of cassava, she notes that it constitutes approximately 80 percent of the food consumed in Ghana. Despite its vital role, Ms. Opare Yeboah encounters challenges in accessing raw materials and strongly urges the government to establish robust market linkages with the cassava sector.
In her perspective, the cassava sector holds immense untapped potential, yet both the government and Ghanaians are not fully capitalizing on its benefits. Ms. Opare Yeboah emphasizes that, with proper support and strategic initiatives, the cassava sector can significantly contribute to the country’s food security and economic development. Unfortunately, she points out that the sector currently lacks the much-needed support from the government.
Ms. Opare Yeboah suggests that allocating a dedicated sector to cassava would not only streamline access to raw materials but also provide a platform for comprehensive support and investment.
CALL TO ACTION: Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, is resolutely dedicated to learn more, explore further and use that, to contribute to instigating change.
Driven by a vision infused with passion and an unwavering belief in the transformative capabilities of cassava, she underscores the vital necessity for collaborative endeavors.
Ms. Akosa urges the government, private sector, and agricultural stakeholders to unite in implementing sustainable policies and initiatives. Her vision extends towards a future where cassava not only thrives as a pivotal economic contributor in Ghana but also uplifts the nation’s agricultural panorama to unprecedented levels of prosperity.
“I aspire to witness a future where cassava not only emerges as a crucial economic force in Ghana but also stands as a beacon of prosperity for farmers; our women, youth, etc
I also aspire to witness a time, where we have all the needed innovations, technology, appropriate and affordable machinery, equipment, input that would build speed and efficiency.
I also desire to witness a period, where the knowledge gap, will be bridged and our young women farmers, mothers, youth, beginners, family farmers, can appreciate, understand, and learn more about how they can grow their cassava enterprises, through value addition.
My utmost desire is for the industry to get to a stage, where all equipment, input, logistics, etc, will not only be for the privy of a “select connected group”, but will be accessible and affordable for all.
That is the only time, when we can gladly beat our chest. A time when we are fulfilled of making impact for the ultimate growth of a happy and content nation.
Through strategic knowledge acquisition, research and investments in modern machinery, promotion of value addition initiatives, and mind-set shaping, can unlock the full potential of cassava.
We shall continue to persist in passionately advocating for the recognition and prioritization of cassava, envisioning it as a cornerstone in the country’s pursuit of agricultural excellence and economic prosperity.
With all the growing interest and conversations around cassava, after our earlier news story, I personally remain steadfast, to commit to further learnings of all the potentials other crops possess – ONE AT A TIME!, after we fully absorb Cassava.
This way, we can continue sharing through this medium, all of the many potentials and opportunities that we can tap into, to build a career path in Agribusiness, generate additional revenue, attract investor drive, stakeholder interest and Government’s attention
The cause and the purpose, is to advocate and champion growth of value chain actors, growth of the sector as a whole, that will transform lives, make us better people, and bring a high level of security and satisfaction, to us, as a people!
I remain yours in the development of Agriculture!
Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa
In an effort to elevate Ghana’s cassava industry onto the global stage, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, delivered a compelling address to a global audience at the recently concluded International Cassava Fair in Brazil.
Addressing the topic “Securing Ghana’s Future Through Cassava” at the International Cassava Fair in Brazil, Ms. Akosa passionately advocated for a transformative approach to Ghana’s cassava industry, emphasizing the critical need to reshape the narrative around cassava cultivation in the country and the necessity for value addition.
The international cassava fair (FIMAN) 2023, organized by Podium Alimentos, was held from Tuesday, November 21st, to Thursday, November 23rd, 2023, aiming to foster knowledge exchange, networking, and collaborative exploration in the cassava sector. Ms. Akosa highlighted the crucial role of Ghana-Brazil collaboration in propelling advancements within Ghana’s cassava industry to significantly contribute to food security and economic growth in the country.
Ms. Akosa also shed light on the unique opportunities and challenges facing Ghana’s cassava industry, exploring avenues for collaboration with international partners, adoption of best practices, value addition, mechanization, and innovative strategies. The goal is to position Ghana as a major player in the global cassava market.
CELEBRATING CASSAVA: A DEFICIT IN GHANA: Despite its immense potential, Ms. Akosa highlighted the startling reality that Ghana is not celebrating cassava enough. The majority of cassava farming is directed towards domestic consumption, with limited emphasis on value addition. While there are noteworthy industries engaged in starch and alcohol production, the broader cassava sector struggles to secure the attention it deserves, particularly in comparison to the historically dominant cocoa and gold industry. With an annual production of 22 million metric tonnes, the time is ripe for a paradigm shift.
“Despite the abundance of opportunities in our cassava value chain, it remains underrated and under-celebrated. We all know how easy it is to grow cassava here in Ghana. Our country, our youth, our women, and the industry as a whole stand to gain more if we fully explore and embrace the vast potential within the cassava value chain, it is time for Ghana to mine Cassava as it mines Gold. Our country needs more cassava factories, farms, varieties, and equipment, such as planters, harvesters, dryers, and washers’’. ,” stated Ms. Akosa.
CULTIVATING CASSAVA’S HIDDEN RICHES: Ms. Akosa also underscored the need for a paradigm shift in Ghana’s agricultural focus. Cassava, often relegated to subsistence farming, stands on the precipice of a transformative revolution. The abundance of this resilient crop represents an untapped resource that, with the right attention, could blossom into a driving force for economic growth and food security.
With a production capacity that rivals cocoa, the time is ripe for Ghana to seize the opportunity and usher in a new era of cassava appreciation. Ms. Akosa’s call for a paradigm shift extends beyond the agricultural landscape; it beckons a recalibration of societal perceptions, urging Ghanaians to recognize the economic and nutritional potential that cassava holds.
While notable industries engage in starch and alcohol production, there remains immense scope for diversification. The versatility of cassava extends far beyond the traditional, offering a canvas for innovative products and industries. Encouraging value addition not only benefits local farmers but also positions Ghana on the global stage as a key player in the cassava market.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES: NAVIGATING THE CASSAVA LANDSCAPE: The Executive Director outlined the current challenges facing Ghana’s cassava industry. Traditional farming methods, predominantly through the use of cutlasses and hoes, remain prevalent. However, she noted a positive trend with an increasing number of women smallholder farmers contributing to the sector.
The existence of 32 cassava varieties developed by research institutions reflects the genetic diversity available for exploration,Yet challenges persist, A lack of machinery and equipment for processing, drying, and planting hinders efficiency. The knowledge gap for value addition and the absence of diverse recipes to encourage farmers to explore alternative uses of cassava contribute to the stagnation of the sector.
PROPOSED MEASURES: CATALYZING A CASSAVA REVOLUTION: Ms. Akosa laid out a comprehensive set of proposals to propel the cassava sector forward. This includes the urgent development and availability of domestic and edible seed varieties, the infusion of machinery and equipment at every stage of the production process, and a robust effort to address the knowledge gap hindering value addition. The call for capacity building and know-how to commercialize cassava effectively was underscored, along with increased investment in inputs and technology.
GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION: A significant portion the address was dedicated to advocating for government intervention. A strategic focus on cassava, the establishment of cassava farms, and support for farmers with improved seeds and markets are crucial steps. She urged the exploration of partnerships for industrialization and commercialization, positioning cassava as the next economic powerhouse akin to cocoa and gold. The initiative, she emphasized, would not only create more employment opportunities but also generate much-needed revenue.
LEARNING FROM BRAZIL’S CASSAVA SUCCESS STORY: In highlighting Brazil’s advanced cassava industry, Ms. Akosa provided a blueprint for Ghana’s future. Brazil’s utilization of cassava for starch, ethanol, and the creation of over 1000 food recipes showcase the boundless potential of this crop. The adoption of biogas production from cassava waste further illustrates the versatility that can be harnessed.
“Brazil’s cassava industry is budding and booming with a high level of value addition. This is an area Ghana can adopt to improve the value chains. Our women and beginner agribusinesses stand to gain a lot in terms of job creation by adding value to cassava. Brazil currently has over 1000 cassava food recipes. Ghana’s climate is much similar to Brazil and I am confident, transferring of knowledge and know-how in cassava food nutrition recipes will be an added value.
According to her, the Cassava industry is a huge jackpot in Brazil. Brazilian Agric manufacturers have been able to develop and manufacture equipment, such as cassava dryers, washers, planters, harvesters, etc., that enhance speed and bring about efficiency. This is a big leap for Ghana, should we be able to partner with Brazilian Manufacturers to develop machinery and equipment as these for our sector.
CONCLUSION: A TRANSFORMATIVE VISION FOR GHANA’S CASSAVA FUTURE: Ms. Akosa concluded her address with a powerful call to action. Beyond showcasing Ghana’s cassava sector, the initiative seeks to foster connections and explore sustainable business opportunities within the dynamic global cassava value chain. With the potential for Ghana to emerge as a key player in the international cassava market, the time is ripe for a Cassava Revolution—a transformative vision to secure Ghana’s agricultural future.
‘’ As we celebrate our agricultural diversity, let us not overlook the golden potential that cassava holds in propelling our nation towards a more sustainable and prosperous future. It is my desire to see Ghana mining Cassava in the next three to five years. Partnering with Brazilian Cassava players is one sure step to get there. We need the exchange of ideas, transfer of knowledge, and all that is needed to grow the sector.’’ She concluded