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5 Years of Miss Agric: Young ladies venture into agribusiness

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
FLASHBACK: Miss Agric 2021. Who takes over from her?
FLASHBACK: Miss Agric 2021. Who takes over from her?

For five years running, the agricultural reality show, Miss Agric, introduced by the 2016 Second Runner-up of Ghana’s Most Beautiful, Oheneba Akosua Kyerewaa Yeboah-Ghansah, has been able to entice young ladies to participate in the agricultural value chain.

So far, the show has been able to get young ladies actively involved in agribusiness in the areas of production, processing, packaging and the marketing of farm produces.

Farming with beauty

Mrs Yeboah-Ghansah seeks to use the reality show, which is not just focusing on agriculture, but everything about beauty show — fashion and reality show — to attract yound ladies into agric.

So, with the slogan: “Miss Agriculture Ghana: Beauty with purpose, the female agriculturist with taste,” the beauty queen is encouraging ladies to take up agriculture.

For her, farming has gone beyond the preserve of the aged, illiterates or school dropouts, but is now a serious business, where people are making real money.

The reality show essentially portrays that as young women they can farm and still remain beautiful in their farming costumes.

Participation

The interest in the programme among ladies has been great, as demonstrated by the number of contestants applying to participate. There has been a consistent increase in the participation since inception.

For instance, in 2018, when it was introduced, only 15 applied but the number increased to 25 in 2019 and then rose to 38, 45 and 60 in 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.

What is more intriguing has been the quality of individuals participating and that gives the encouragement and the indication that there is hope in the agricultural sector.

For instance, out of the 60 ladies who applied to participate this year, 20 of them came from the various agricultural colleges in the country, while some are students from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), University of Ghana and the other universities, as well as some extension officers.

Week-long

This year’s grand finale, unlike the previous events, kick-starts today (Monday) at the Adeiso Presby Park in the Eastern Region to be climaxed on Friday, June 10.

In all, five young ladies will showcase their interest and projects in agriculture that they hope to pursue after the contest, eloquence in articulating issues and generally, their appearance, in order to catch the eyes of the judges to be able to lift the crown as the overall winner.

From a visit to the Adeiso Chief’s Palace, courtesy calls, a visit to women agribusiness unit in Adeiso, the contestants will also have the opportunity to undertake field industrial trips to the HPW Fresh & Dry Factory and the Blue Skies Ghana Factory, until Friday when the event dubbed, “Women in agribusiness festival 2022”, will be climaxed with the crowning of Miss Agric 2022.

Mrs Yeboah-Ghansah said there would also be a health screening exercise for most of the women farmers in the area, “who do not really have time to take care of their health so we will have this on the day”.

Additionally, she said, there would also be a tree planting exercise to mark the Green Day event on Friday, June 10, and an exhibition, as well as a cooking competition among various women-based agricultural groups in the region.

Qualification

Outlining the requirement for participation, Mrs Yeboah-Ghansah said a participant “must have interest in agriculture, must have started an activity along the agribusiness value chain or interested in starting such an activity, and should fall within the age range of 18 to 30”.

She said the dynamics were changing with the increasing awareness that ladies could actually take to farming as a business and yet remain beautiful.

Role of women

She said she believed that women played a crucial role in all farm-related activities from land preparation to marketing and, therefore, getting the young educated ladies to participate in those roles would mainstream a large section of society into the sector.

“That explains the constant demonstration of interest in agriculture by not just ordinary ladies, but university graduates, who would have ordinarily been looking for white collar jobs,” she explained.

Mrs Yeboah-Ghansah, who is herself a cocount farmer and also into packaging of food items, said her motivation was the love for nature and the quest to contribute her quota in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Two, which aims at achieving zero hunger.

She said she was happy that through the reality show, the organisation had been able to train 10 women in poultry out of which four of them went on to establish poultry farms in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Bono and Central regions, “while the remaining six are also into the egg business”.

Success story

Since the introduction of the show, the winners have moved on to be successful agribusiness entrepreneurs.

For instance, the maiden winner in 2018 is currently into oyster mushroom production, while the 2019 winner is into vegetable production. The winner for the year 2020 is currently a successful poultry farmer and producer of chicken spice while the 2021 counterpart is into greenhouse vegetable farming.

As the stage is now set, the question is, who wins the crown for 2022 to dethrone Rendy Abbam, the 2021 queen? Only time will tell as the contestants showcase their abilities on Friday as the festival comes to the climax.

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