Agrihouse Foundation’s Alberta to Speak at the International Business Models in Agriculture in Kigali, Rwanda

Agrihouse Foundation’s Alberta to Speak at the International Business Models in Agriculture in Kigali, Rwanda

The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, is set to address a global audience at the International Business Models in Agriculture in Kigali, Rwanda on March 25th – 28th on the topic: unlocking the potential of the rural youth (women and men) for innovation in the agriculture sector.

The International Business Models in Agriculture Conference (IBMA), organized by the Africa Organization of Technology in Agriculture (AOTA) in collaboration with the University of Rwanda , Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB),under the theme: ‘Reshaping Agribusiness Models for Building Prosperous Rural Communities’’ is a pivotal platform for open dialogue and exchanging ground breaking ideas to catalyze rapid and meaningful change in the agriculture value chain sector.

The event is dedicated to fostering the essential transformation the agriculture value chain urgently requires. By bringing together minds from around the world, the event aims to create an environment that fuels significant advancement in the agriculture sector, moving the life of agripreneurs from the isolation of poverty to the cohesion of prosperity.

According to Isaac kagara ,Founder and President of Africa Organization of Technology in Agriculture , the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation has been invited to speak at the 2024 International Business Models in Agriculture in acknowledgment to the substantial efforts and impact that Agrihouse Foundation has achieved and their consistency  impacts they continue to make in Ghana’s agricultural sector, especially in youth advocacy ,women empowerment and enhancing market accessibility through their initiatives ,project and interventions.

The conference, is expected to unite a diverse assembly of more than 500 delegates, including prominent Government officials, respected academic experts in business and agriculture, leading Agritech enterprises, Innovative researchers, NGOs committed to change in the agriculture sector, dedicated farmers, and farmer’s leaders, forward thinking investors, dynamic entrepreneurs and ambitious agribusiness startups.

Emphasizing on the significance of reshaping Agriculture models, Ms. Alberta’s keynote address on Unlocking the Potential of The Rural Youth (Women and Men) For Innovation in The Agriculture Sector, will place prominence on agriculture economic impact and entrepreneurial opportunities.

It is also expected to highlight Agribusiness modules, that work, using Agrihouse Foundation’s initiatives as a case study and further touch in innovations, creativity and that attract the rural youth to embrace Agricultural opportunities, whiles increasing output and steadily improving the livelihoods.

Agrihouse Foundation has a proven track record of implementing initiatives aimed at unlocking the potential of rural youth, both women and men, for innovation in the agriculture sector.

These initiatives Includes, the Gathering of the Royals, Agricultural Student Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogues Bootcamps, Monthly Agriwoman Marketplaces, Executive Beginner Agribusiness Masterclasses, Agrifemale Initiative, Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forums and the Gold in the Soil Awards.

Others are the annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions and the livestock poultry and fisheries tradeshow, Ghana Agrochemical and Crop Protection Exhibitions And Awards (GACA), AG-WONI, 1Household, 1 garden, poultry day, and the most recent, being the rural community initiative for input accessibility dealership drive.

Other speakers on the panel where Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Is Scheduled To Speak also Includes Ms. Aline Kabanda, Rwanda Country Director JASIRI, Ms.Kudirat Temitope Ande,Executive Director of One Africa Com Limited ,Nigeria And Mr. Emmanuel Ndayizigigye,Founder And Chief Executive Officer ,Yalla Group ,Rwanda

Other speakers at the forum will also include, Ambassador Naeem Kham CSP FSP High Commissioner Rwanda, Prof. Muganga Didas Kayihura, Vice Chancellor, University of Rwanda, Dr. Ron Rosati, Vice Chancellor, Rwanda Institute for Conversation Agriculture, others includes ,Kagara Issac, Founder and President; African Organization of Technology in Agriculture (AOTA), Prof. PLO Lumumba Foundation, Advocate of the High Course of Kenya and Tanganyika, Dr. Nimrod Israel IBMA Co-Founder and Chairman, OluwaTobi Lovv Founder, CEO and President of sharelow International among others .

Our Year of Harvesting Hope

Our Year of Harvesting Hope

It’s Mid-february already

Are we all still on the path of living up to our Corporate New Year Resolutions and Thematic Focus?

At Agrihouse Foundation, we kicked off, with a commitment to Harvesting Hope.

It’s a leap year & an election year as well & we desire, above all, a country of cooperation, and the further development of sustainable farming, with peace & Security as the priority!

In the coming days, I’ll be sharing with you all of our impactful projects and interventions geared towards harvesting hope & charting a path towards Agri-Peace development.

We appreciate all farmers, partners, and stakeholders who have been on this IMPACT journey with us all these years, and we look forward to “being more”!

Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa
Our Year of Harvesting Hope

Queen-Mothers in Agriculture, Across the 16 Regions, to Meet at the 6th GATHERING OF THE ROYALS

Queen-Mothers in Agriculture, Across the 16 Regions, to Meet at the 6th GATHERING OF THE ROYALS

The Greater Accra Region, is set to witness for the 6th year running, a gathering of over Two Hundred and Seventy-Five Queen-Mothers and Women in Agriculture, across the Sixteen Regions in Ghana, on Thursday February 29,2024 at the GNAT Hall.

In a statement, the Founder and Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa said, that this year’s event, to be held under the THEME: “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Gender Equality in Agriculture and Honouring Women’s Advancement,”. is expected to delve into issues on gender, and its influence in advancing and building sustainable women farmers across the regions of Ghana.

The half day program will also dive deep into the queen-mothers and detail their individual roles in spearheading Agricultural   growth, development and change across their respective regions

Also, as part of the activities for this year, we get to celebrate women who have stood and fought positively, for gender advancement for many years while advocating for meaningful policy interventions and support systems that promote gender equality.

Over the past five (5) years, the Gathering of the Royals event, has established itself as a cornerstone interventional initiative, providing a vital platform for Queen Mothers in farming and other Agribusiness value chains, to engage in meaningful conversations.

Together, they tackle pressing issues, peculiar to their communities and Regions, such as access to resources, market challenges, and the imperative for sustainable practices.

Through collaborative brainstorming and feedback, with Public Sector, Corporate Bodies and Financial Institutions, at the event, they seek innovative solutions to foster a thriving and inclusive agricultural landscape.

The event, which has since its inception, brought together over 2,973 queen-mothers, women in agribusiness, processors, political leaders, women farmers, assemblymen, DCEs, and community leaders, and stakeholders across the agriculture value chain has been able to successfully facilitate the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to further extend Extension Support to some of the farming areas within communities that were previously deprived of extension support.

Also in 2021, an Agri-booster Module was introduced, where Queen Mothers serve as entry point for companies to offer training to farmers, soil sampling and testing, and provision of input to beginner and growing farmers, to kick-start or expand their farming activities.

Do you know Agrihouse also serve as Event Organisers?

We are thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with the task of organizing the prestigious US Ghana Business Expo 2023 by the American Chamber of Commerce. #AmericanChamberOfCommerce
With utmost professionalism, we showcased our impeccable branding, captivating artworks and thoroughly crafted design set ups and from connecting businesses to fostering partnerships we’ve created an unforgettable platform for growth and collaboration. It was an honor to create an extraordinary visual experience that left a lasting impact.
50 Queen Mothers, Agri-Stakeholders to Converge at ‘Gathering of the Royals’ Tomorrow

50 Queen Mothers, Agri-Stakeholders to Converge at ‘Gathering of the Royals’ Tomorrow

Ghanaian women continue to play significant roles in the country’s agricultural sector. Women in the sector contribute up to seventy percent of all agricultural production, marketing and processing, mostly combining these responsibilities with raising a family and meeting other social and cultural expectations.

It is however, no secret that Ghanaian women in agriculture are also faced with several challenges, in spite of their contributions. Challenges involving lack of ownership and limited access to productive and arable land, low literacy rates, lack of access to information, low participation in agricultural governance, poverty and insufficient access to credit facilities.

Agrihouse Foundation remains one of the few non-governmental organizations in the country, working closely with women farmers and other value chain partners to address the challenges of these hardworking women across the country. With projects like the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards (Wofagric); the Monthly Agri-Woman Market Place; and the 1 household, 1 Garden Initiative (1h,1g), Agrihouse Foundation continues to train and build the capacity of women farmers to enable them scale up their agribusinesses. Example, over 25% of women who have participated in the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum and Gold in the Soil Awards are now thriving as agribusiness owners because of the agribusiness management training they receive during the event.

Since 2019, the two-part event has awarded about 300 women who excel exceptionally as farmers and have taken up leadership roles 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 challenge.

The Monthly Agri-Woman Market Place Initiative has since last year, supported and empowered women led agribusinesses by creating an engaging platform that helps them to network, exhibit and sell their produces 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 event, which also offers them opportunity to share knowledge and build their capacity through inspirational and empowerment dialogues.

The 1 household, 1 Garden Initiative (1h, 1g), has empowered about 100 households to become more self-reliant and conscious about food security, and the importance of home cooked meals. As part of the initiative, households are freely provided with 12 assorted vegetable seedlings, manure, garden tools, treated soil, Training Manual, garden structures, and given the needed support and gardening manuals to help them establish their garden and manage it. Early last month, to start the 2022 New Year, the Agrihouse Foundation team, was in Bamvim, in the Northern Region to train and support 100 women in the community to set-up backyard gardens. The team intends to expand the project to other parts of the region later this year.

Even with all these initiatives aimed at lessening the burdens of women in agriculture, whiles empowering them to build their capacity, more challenges still persist. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in year 2019 and 2020, Agrihouse Foundation undertook a research initiative that assessed how the pandemic was affecting the agricultural activities of the women farmers. Generally, they noted that the pandemic had heighted the already existing challenges in the following key areas: transportation, marketing and sales, education, self-reliance and food security assurance, and limited access. 

Challenges Confronting Ghanaian Women in Agriculture

Transportation: A 44-year-old chief district farmer from the Sekyere Central District, in the Ashanti Region, Madam Ohemaa Akyaa representing about 1,700 women in cocoa and maize farming, noted the COVID-19 spread has affected their transportation system, and now causing them to sell produce at no cost at all, to avoid losses. The situation has also affected the accessibility of inputs for farming. Already, they have been facing challenges of little or no access to finance to farming, and it is affecting their entire livelihoods.

Innovative marketing or new sales approaches: Aunty Ekua Atta, 57 years, also representing a select group of about 870 women farmers in mixed cropping in the Gomoa West District Assembly, emphasized an increasing need for support in training on new markets accessibility approaches and innovative ways of selling, leadership and financial management, training on modern technology, best practices, cooperative structure development, mentorship and training in maintaining food production in crisis.

Education: Also, Madam Asabea, 62 years, representing 647 women cooperatives in cocoa and cashew in the Goaso Municipal and Ahafo region, shared the challenges family farmers are facing since the lockdown of schools, which has brought school feeding to a halt. She highlighted the need for more education on social distancing for farmers during this crisis and provision of PEs, capital for production and farming inputs. 

Skilled training for self-reliance & food security assurance: Again, about thirty-two (32) young female student Agronomists and agripreneurs, currently unemployed, spoke of the challenges they are facing to afford a day’s meal and the call for skilled training to support and be useful to their communities, during this time of crisis.

Limited access to markets: About 500 women Smallholder farmers and processors (the majority in rice parboiling, shea, baobab and Neem) from Bolgatanga, Wa, Tamale and the Brong Ahafo regions of Ghana have always expressed the need for assistance to access ready markets indicating the challenge is not limited to a particular geographical location.

FDA Certification: Some farmers who are making attempts to add value to their products before selling need to acquire certification from the Foods and Drugs Authority. They lamented about the bureaucracy of the process and the stress involved when they have to certify their processed goods. According to them, wach product from a company/entrepreneur will need to be certified separately thus increasing the cost one needs to get the certification. Though some admitted agencies like the NBSSI have been helpful the cost and processes involved in getting a product certified remain a challenge.

‘Gathering of the Royals’ to Develop Sustainable Farmers

To be considered sustainable, agriculture needs to integrate social, environmental, and economic interests. The goals of sustainable agriculture are; to help provide enough food for everyone, bring communities out of poverty and provide an enhanced quality of life for farming families, and utilize farming methods that promote soil health and reduce reliance on fossil fuels for environmental sustainability. The following are some advantages of sustainable farming:

Healthier food: Food produced by sustainable farming methods has more nutrients in it as it avoids dangerous chemical and pesticides. Crop rotation also guarantees more nutrients in fruits and vegetables while livestock farmers raise animals in a humane way without any dangerous practices such as the use of growth hormones and non-therapeutic antibiotics. Thus, the meat is safe for consumers. The food also tastes better.

Building and maintaining healthy soil: Sustainable agriculture’s focus on building and maintaining healthy soil is therefore a critical component in securing the viability of food systems worldwide. Practices recommended for building and sustaining healthy soil include planting diverse crops; reducing or eliminating tilling that can disrupt and loosen soil; and never leaving fields bear with exposed soil, which has the effect of lowering nutrient availability and allowing dry soil to blow away as dust in the wind.

Safeguarding biodiversity: Sustainable farming, embraces a diversity of plants and animal species both on-farm and off-farm in order to help produce and promote healthier foods. Hedgerows can bring non-crop vegetation into fields, creating habitats for pest predators and pollinators. Agroforestry practices can allow native trees to coexist with crops like coffee that prefer shade. Sustainable farms can be places where biodiversity thrives, sometimes successfully coexisting with adjacent wildlands, while supporting sustainable diets based on locally sourced foods.

Reduce pollution and use of chemicals: Sustainable farming reduces pollution by using natural fertilizers and using fewer chemicals. This means that farm produce is healthier and better for you. Sustainable farming incorporates integrated pest management to identify pests in the initial stages and target spraying only for particular pests limited to a particular area. This way it does not affect the bio-diversity and protects the natural wildlife.

Sustainable communities: An important aspect of sustainable farming is that it remains economically viable for farmers, farm workers, and others who are employed in the food system so that they make a liveable wage and work in a safe environment.  Sustainable farming encourages the resurgence of smaller family-run farms that strengthen the rural community which benefits everyone.

‘Gathering of the Royals’ Set for Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 22

In a press statement, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, has noted that the maiden edition of ‘Gathering of the Royals’ is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at the GNAT Conference Hall, in Accra. The event will bring together fifty (50) queen mothers, together with representatives 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, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong

According to Ms. Akosa Sarpong, GATHERING OF THE ROYALS is 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. As part of the half-day event, there will be a Panel Conversation, with a thematic focus on Working Together: Role of Royals and the Corporate in accelerating Agri-Peace and Developing Sustainable farmers.

The Panelists for the session will include Nana Odeatwon II, Divisional queen-mother, Ketekrachie- Oti Region, Portia Asumda, Leader of Kosanaba Women Farmers & Processors Group, Bawku West, Upper East Region, Nana Akua Amoah II, Tuobodom Queen-Mother, Bono east and Ayisheitu Nahanadu Asaki, Queen-mother of Zebilla, Bawku west District. Others include Nana Akosua Bempomah, District chief farmer, Sekyere-kumawu – Ashanti Region, Mama Dzitri Novuiango II, Divisional Queen-mother of Nkonya Tradional area.

There will also be a Contributors session, which will have key industry leaders and decision-makers, like the Hon. Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle Constituency, Hon. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, leading a Call-to-Action session, which will guide and build the working path and manual for Royals and Agricultural businesses. Other notable personalities including the Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Yaw Frimpong Addo; the Members of Parliament for Abirem, Hon. John Osei Frimpong; corporate sponsors of the event and collaborating institutions, will all make inputs, aimed at informing Policy direction in favour of women farmers and development activities.

“We are positive by the end of the event, we would have contributed to creating sustainable working relationships, that strengthen collaborative efforts between our corporate bodies, stakeholders and traditional leaderships,” Ms. Akosa Sarpong noted.