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AGRA launches platform for women in agribusiness

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Participants in the breakfast meeting held by AGRA
Participants in the breakfast meeting held by AGRA

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has launched a new platform designed to facilitate the growth and development of women-owned agribusiness enterprises in the country.

Dubbed: “#VALUE4HERConnect”, the new platform seeks to help bring women entrepreneurs in agriculture together in a virtual community in order to be able to connect, network and grow their businesses.

The platform, which is targeting more than 500,000 women entrepreneurs in Ghana, is being implemented in other African countries such as Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique.


Breakfast meeting

Launching the platform at the VALUE4HER Networking and Advocacy Breakfast on Tuesday, April 6 in Accra, the Regional Head of West Africa at AGRA, Mr Forster Boateng, observed that the platform was expected to provide important business and capacity development resources for members.

The breakfast meeting is planned under AGRA’s VALUE4HER initiative, a continental initiative aimed at strengthening women’s agribusinesses, to increase incomes for women and prosperity for families.

On the theme: “Facilitating dialogue to enhance Women participation in Agribusiness,” the event hosted personalities such as the Country Manager of the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership, Nana Aisha Mohammad, Programme Manager of JAK Foundation, Nana Ama Opong-Duah, and Director of WIAD, Paulina Addy.

Mr Boateng stated that the VALUE4HERConnect sought to create an avenue through which women entrepreneurs in agribusiness and those who support them and intend to do business with them could easily reach out to one another, share knowledge and experiences, and access strategic resources and services.

“It will also provide information about agribusiness events, exhibitions, and conferences on the continent and internationally, and offer selected publications and blogs that are intended to provide women entrepreneurs with useful information about the development in African agribusiness ecosystem.”

AGRA, in collaboration with PIATA partners, seeks to grow this programme and the digital asset that powers it, to be the go-to digital business resource for African women in agribusiness, to reach women entrepreneurs in all countries in Africa.

It seeks to mobilise national/continental/global market actors and gender lens buyers and investors to do business with women companies, while technical assistance builds their capacity to transform their incomes and livelihoods through these market opportunities.

Read: Putting women at the centre of agric sustainability


Women play critical role

The Executive Director of Development Action Association, Ms Lydia Sasu, observed that women played a critical role in supporting their households and communities in achieving food and nutrition security, generating income, and improving rural livelihoods and overall well-being.

As active contributors of the nation’s economy, she said women had continuously been presented with many challenges that had prevented them from independently owning or managing land.

She stated that they were terribly short of basic tools and inputs, extension services and technical advice, credit logistics, relevant research, and appropriate infrastructure and technology.

Read: Empowering women in agric, time to address gender disparity


“In short, they have not received the backing they need in order to succeed.

“And this is not because they are less gifted than men. It is not because they are less capable. And it is certainly not because they are less driven.

“Although they make up almost half the agricultural workforce in the country, they simply are not getting the same level of sustenance and investment as men,” she stated.

Ms Sasu stated that the Development Action Association had been providing them with the needed support including education to be able to make contribution towards policy.