Canada Reiterates Commitment to Ghanaian Women in Agriculture at 3rd WOFAGRIC

Canada Reiterates Commitment to Ghanaian Women in Agriculture at 3rd WOFAGRIC

The Deputy Director, Program Planning, at the Canadian High Commission, Corey Huntington, has reiterated Canada’s commitment towards empowering women in agriculture in Ghana.

She said it is the reason Canada continues to support WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards because the vision of the event strongly resonates with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which aims to put women and girl’s front and centre of development.

“We strongly believe that women are critical to the sustainability of Ghana’s agriculture and that successful women farmers deserved to be recognized and celebrated for their achievements and contributions to the nation,” she stressed.

In a short presentation at WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards, she described the event as, “the right platform to highlight the successes of women farmers and demonstrate that, given equal opportunities, women farmers can contribute significantly to Ghana’s development agenda,” she underscored.

She therefore commended Agrihouse Foundation for providing an annul capacity building and networking opportunity through WOFAGRIC, that helps to build resilience of women farmers—  this year, focusing on agri-women in the Upper East and Upper West regions.

Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Project Powered by Canada

Since 2017, Canada has been providing support to the Government of Ghana to improve its agriculture sector through an initiative called Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG). Canada recognises that the agriculture sector continues to hold great potential for reducing poverty and inequality in Ghana. In this light, Canada is providing 125 million Canadian dollars of assistance directly to the Government of Ghana to help modernize the sector.

The MAG project is now in the fifth year of implementation and tremendous successes are being recorded. These include increases in the adoption of relevant, productivity-enhancing technologies by both female and male farmers in Ghana, the introduction of new market-oriented approaches to farm management, improvements in major crops and many more.

A big focus of the MAG project has been to understand the specific needs of women farmers and to ensure that both female and male farmers are receiving the appropriate extension services to help them improve both their yields and their incomes.

This is in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance policy and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality. Through our partnerships with the Government of Ghana and organizations like the Agrihouse Foundation, we are witnessing increased empowerment and self-reliance among women in the agricultural sector.

Women farmers are demonstrating higher levels of financial autonomy.  As a result, they are now able to buy land, add rooms to their homes, purchase agro-processing machines, expand their agro-processing activities, and pay school fees for their children.

About 3rd WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards

This year Madam Portia Asumda, from Zangeyire in the Upper East Region took home the ultimate Gold in the Soil Award. She has been farming five years and is into the cultivation of rice, and maize, and rears cow, small ruminant and guinea fowls.

She has been working for the past 10 years and has helped train about 200 women in agri-processing capacities. She mentors women and employs a number of them who depend on the income they make to support their families. In view of her hard work, NBSSI collaborates with her as a service provider, ensuring that her products meet international standards, that enables her to export her products.

The rest of the award winners in their various categories are as follows:

Passion for Farm— Portia Gban

She innovates— Gafaratu Fuseini

Climate Smart Women Project— Memuna Abdul Rahaman

Outstanding woman in extension services— Leuzumah Rashida

The super Woman Farmer— Alima Wahabu

Royal Agro— Ayiesheitu Mahamadu Asaki

Diamond in the rough— Saantuma Sala

Feed to Foods— Genevive Akugu

Change Champion Award— Asieme Elsie Azelikumah

Development Partner— Canada

Lady of the Export Region— Anita Sutha

Star Woman Agripreneur— Mavis Alahire Aboko

She operates— Joy okrah

Princess Carla— Hawawu Gbahara

Gold in the Soil— Portia Asumda

This year the Awards Scheme received 131 nominations from both Upper East and Upper West Region. Out of the number, 45 women were shortlisted and 14 awarded. A special Gold in the Soil award went to Canada as a development partner.

This year WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil Award was in partnership with Canadian High Commission, ABSA Ghana and YARA, INTERPLAST, OCP AFRICA, PEG AFRICA, LUMINANT ELECTRICALS AND RDF GHANA.

Collaborating Institution included, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) and the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG).

The GOLD In the Soil AWARDS, is an annual awards scheme, solely dedicated to contribute in strengthening and projecting a paradigm shift of celebrating women farmers, processors, marketers and women who are playing a role within the agricultural value chain, including women into Transportation, packaging, Technology, input dealers, etc. The Awards moves from Region to Region yearly to search for these extraordinary women who contribute significantly to putting food on our tables daily. Their story is shared and broadcasted through a documentary series produced by Agrihouse Foundation.

Impacts of WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil Awards

Since inception three years (3) ago, WOFAGRIC and Gold in the soil awards has impacted the lives and businesses of women in the agri-business space. So far 25% of women participants who were not into Agribusiness as at the time they attended the event, have now ventured into agribusiness. Similarly, about 900 women who were groomed to take up leadership roles have had their capacity built up to push for growth and expansion at the grassroots.

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 with about 7 of them winning laurels at the district and regional levels whilst 2 of them picked up awards at the National awards.

The training offered on proper management and book keeping have proven impactful. A follow up evaluation carried out 3 months after each event reveals that, past participants have been able to access loan facilities to support their farms and businesses. Furthermore, information and guidance provided by the Netherlands embassy and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) equipped some of the women farmers on the standard procedures, best practices and how to go documentations to export their produce. This has helped about 13 women to start the process to go into exportation.



About 500 women have registered to participate in the maiden edition of the Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum & Expo (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards, scheduled to begin from 12th – 13th of June, 2019, at Chances Hotel, Ho, Volta Region.

This event is the first of its kind in the agricultural sector for the recognition of women and their immeasurable contribution in agribusiness.

The two-day event themed; Women! Key Partners in Shaping Agribusiness is expected to empower, encourage and reward the efforts of women in Agribusiness. WOFAGRIC seeks to recognize the contribution of women in the Agricultural sector, support their innovations and empower others to venture into the sector. This event’s aim is to give women a voice, offer them a platform and champion the cause of the Agric businesswoman. It would also serve as a means of bridging the gender inequality gap in the agriculture sector and provide women with an array of opportunities for networking.

As part of its contribution towards the two-day event, the Canadian embassy has made a commitment to provide funding and technical support. The 1st secretary-Development High Commission of Canada to Ghana, Marie Claude Harvey said: “As a key partner of Ghana, we have in recent times seen the need to increase efforts towards women. This is because women represent an essential part of the society through which the rest of society can be positively impacted.

Focusing on gender equality (in agric) for us is an opportunity to address the root-cause of poverty. Women play a key role in agriculture but there is a big gap in terms of access when compared to their male counterparts. This we believe makes it naturally difficult for women to transition from subsistence farming to one of industrial proportion. We are thrilled to know that WOFAGRIC is specifically targeted at women making it a fantastic opportunity for women to improve their businesses and expand.”

Mentorship and training sessions by YARA Ghana, Sidalco, Interplast and ADB; sponsors of the event, would encourage and empower women who want to venture into agribusiness. There would also be a session where women would be trained on the processing of rice milk, tiger nut powder, groundnut and cocoa powder so that they can be self-sufficient with the skills they would acquire at the event.

Gold in the Soil Awards, a core component of the programe will recognize and reward outstanding women who have made significant contributions in agribusiness. The Gold in the soil award received over 50 nominations since nominations opened and is spread across fourteen(14) categories that include; Passion for Farm Award, She Innovates Award, Super Woman Award, Women in Extension Services, Star in Ag Awards, Diamond in the Rough Awards, Feed to Food Award, Change Champion Award, Royal Agro Award (Queen mothers), Lady of the Region Export Award, Climate Smart Women Project awards, Princess “Carla Denizard” Award, Development Partner Award and the most coveted Gold in the Soil Award.

According to Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, “It is an obvious reality that women for instance do not receive adequate support in their quest to compete with their male counterparts despite their immense contribution to the sector”. This event would put women in the forefront and also acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the growth of their community and the nation as a whole.”

WOFAGRIC Partners in the agriculture sector include Women in Agricultural development (WIAD), National Farmers & Fishermen Award Winners’ Association and AGRA. International partners include Brazilian Embassy, Embassy of Israel, USAID’s ADVANCE PROJECT, Netherlands Embassy and USAD Amplified.

WOFAGRIC is expected to move to a different region every year, offering women all over the country an equal chance to be encouraged and celebrated.




Yara Ghana has gone beyond what it is currently doing in supporting agriculture in Ghana by investing fifteen million dollars (USD15,000.00), in the construction of a fertilizer Terminal, comprising of Warehousing units and a State of the art Blends production Unit.

This without a doubt will lead to a significant boost to the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative in  particular and agriculture in the country general. I can only say ‘Ayekoo’ to you Yara. With an input support of this nature among others, we hope to raise agriculture’s contribution to GDP to a significant height in the nearest future.

Also according to a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, the Government, since assuming office has prioritized the transformation and modernization of the Ghanaian economy.  A modernized economy must have a strong industrial sector. The Fertilizer Terminal is also meant to reduce turnaround time of the Port since bulk materials will not be bagged at the portside and in turn, increase Yara’s production storage capacity as well as making Yara Ghana, the gateway for the supply of fertilizer to other West African countries.

Yara Ghana was established in 2007. Since then, Yara has established itself in the industry as a leader in the provision of crop nutrition solutions for crop growth and quality, securing and enhancing the profitability of the farmer.

Some of Yara’s interventions to support agriculture in Ghana include;

  • Providing training and knowledge for farmers, Agricultural Extension Officers as well as dealers in agro-inputs. The focus among others is on the right application of fertilizers: right nutrients, right time and right place.
  • Scientific trials aimed at evolving cost effective crop nutrition solutions and programs for Ghanaian farmers, collaborating with key agricultural research institutes such as Crop Research Institute (CRI), Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), etc.


  • Yara has also been increasing its supply of fertilizers to the market, and improving access to fertilizers for farmers through a wide distribution network of over 300 distributors and retailers across the country.
  • A key partner in government programs to develop agriculture over the years, and today, in the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs Program – Yara brings capacity to support and strengthen the program for success.
  • Partnerships to promote good agronomic practices and promote the course of agriculture in Ghana. One such collaboration is with USAID/ADVANCE, with whom together in 2018 we set up over 250 farmer based demonstration fields to train farmers and also showed the possibility of high yield and profitability of the farmer.
  • Supporting women farmers such as the St Cecilia Cooperative in Northern Ghana. The co-operative is made up predominantly of widows.

Yara over the years has made significant investments in Ghana, the latest being the new Terminal facility launched on the 20th of February, 2019. The facility has the capacity for blending and bagging of 100mt (2,000 50kg bags) per hour and a storage capacity of about 50,000mt (1million 50kg bags).

This new facility strengthens Yara’s position to support the government’s PFJ program and also support farmers and the agric value chain stronger.

Objectives of project :

  • Reduce turnaround time at the port since bulk material will not be bagged portside
  • To increase Yara’s production and storage capacity
  • To position Yara Ghana as a gateway to supply fertilizer to other West Africa countries
  • Increase Yara Ghana’s capacity to supply to the market on time and all through the farming season
  • Enhance operational and HESQ efficiency

Benefits of project to Ghana

  • Though wholly financed by Yara, the facility will support the drive of the government of Ghana for industrialization through the 1D1F programme since the facility is a full scale production unit capable of producing and bagging different fertilizer blends and other fertilizer products
  • It will help facilitate the ready supply and availability of our premium crop nutrition solutions to the Ghanaian farmer to enhance their productivity and livelihoods.
  • It has Increased Yara Ghana’s capacity to produce any site specific blends recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture and deliver to all parts of the country.
  • Place Yara Ghana in good position to strongly support the government flagship programme Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
  • The increased capacity of the facility will require more human resource hence creating varied employment opportunities

Benefits of project to West Africa sub region

With the increasing recognition of Ghana as a hub for trade and investment in the West Africa Sub Region and the African continent in general, this terminal facility will  make Ghana a hub for the supply of fertilizer inputs within the sub region since the facility has the capacity to supply Ghana and beyond.

This will help in turn increase employment opportunities directly and indirectly within the value chain.

Let me take this opportunity to urge others in the private sector to also come up with other innovative and modern ways by which we can together improve the quality of the agric sector. Join hands with government in pushing the agric sector to take its rightful place at the top of the nation’s economy, a place it had dominated for several decades.


Lead Consultant and Founder – Agrihouse Communications and Agrihouse Foundation