Eight selected female entrepreneurs in agribusinesses have been selected in the Upper West Region to undergo a one-year capacity building programme on good agricultural practices after which they will each be provided with financial assistance of GH¢30,000.
Under a programme dubbed: “Female-led agribusinesses project”, the one-year project is under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 2.4 of sustainable agriculture that is meant to secure zero hunger on the continent.
It is being financed by the Australian Aid and the Australian Embassy of Ghana with Plan International Ghana as the implementing partner.
Through this, Plan International Ghana was tasked to identify female entrepreneurs in agribusinesses for support to scale up their businesses to enhance access to agricultural inputs for improvement in their livelihoods and society in general.
Therefore, Plan International Ghana performed the task through consultations and research on the challenges faced by female agribusiness entrepreneurs in the Upper West and Central regions.
The feedback from the consultations and research resulted in the design of the female-led agribusinesses project as well as the selection process of the eight from the 20 competitors, who were shortlisted to undergo the programme as the first batch.
According to the Programme Coordinator of Plan International Ghana, Iddrisu Kamaldeen, sustainable agricultural production was achievable, if those enterprises were better positioned to benefit from the growing local and international markets.
He said women in agribusinesses had over the years been discriminated against in agricultural production in the country.
Mr Kamaldeen said there was the need to move away from those practices and to build the capacities of women to enter the agribusinesses to grow more and have access to market to sell their nutritious products to enhance their livelihoods.
“In short, if you care about poverty, if you care about hunger, if you care about the environment and building a stable and sustainable world, then you have to care about women in agriculture,” the programme coordinator said.
To solve this, he said there was the need for government to partner with other bodies to acquire the necessary support for such programmes.
“Thus the Australian Government and Plan International Ghana are partnering the government to ensure that the selected eight entrepreneurs could undergo the one-year programme successfully and together with the financial support, come out to serve as role models to encourage other females in agribusinesses.
“We can build the partnership that will allow us to amplify the results that any of us can achieve on our own. We must do this if we want to achieve the SDGs by 2030, by pooling not only resources, but knowledge and expertise and backing it up with long-term commitment,” Mr Kamaldeen said.
The Regional Vice-President of the queen mothers’ association, Rosemary Bangzie, said their involvement in the project was based on the need to strengthen women to stand on their own since it had been demonstrated with the establishment of the International Women’s Day.
One of the beneficiaries, Doris Siibu, commended the government and the partners for bringing the project to them and expressed their joy that through it they would have the needed financial support to expand their businesses.