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Business News of Monday, 16 September 2019

Source: Agrihouse Foundation

MADE to present report on women in agribusiness at the 9th Pre-harvest event

Pamela C. Brown. Pamela C. Brown.

According to statistics (SRID 2001), there are more women in Agriculture than men in Ghana.

However, beyond the statistical numbers, MADE (Market Development in Northern Ghana) believes that women also come with greater value and they are ready to share their validating report on this view at the forthcoming 9th Pre-Harvest Conference and Exhibition event.

According to Pamela C. Bowen, Country Lead for MADE who shared this revelation with the media, in May 2019, MADE carried out a gender assessment to understand the extent to which women are both important clients and valuable employees for agribusinesses in the Northern Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone.

The assessment came up with a set of recommendations to encourage agribusiness partners to increasingly invest in and, or hire women.

“MADE will share the results of the gender assessment and the work it has done with women in the past five and a half years at the Pre-harvest event,” he said and further added that, “This will give participants a better appreciation of the benefits and impact of women’s equal participation in the labour force and contribution to GDP.”

In a survey carried out sometime in 2001 by the Statistics Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, about 52 % of the labour force is engaged in agriculture, 29 % in services and 19 % in industry. Approximately, 39 % of farm labour force is women...The Ghana Statistical Service is yet to carry out another survey so the above figures still serve.

She indicated that anybody who knows and has been following the activities of MADE would know that MADE has gender interest as an important part of what they do.

“The activities of the MADE Programme are gender inclusive. Over 40% of the MADE Programme’s target beneficiaries are women,” Madam Bowen explained.

As the Pre-Harvest event gives special focus to gender and youth affairs, MADE finds that an additional basis for seeing the Pre-Harvest platform as most fitting for them to share and demonstrate some of their findings and communicate their agenda.

She went on to explain that MADE sponsors the Pre-harvest event because they found that it is the ideal platform to “share knowledge and lessons learned by MADE and its agribusiness partners in the implementation of the market systems approach; Showcase/exhibit the benefits and impact of MADE’s innovative models and interventions in the agricultural value chains; and Provide a platform for MADE and its partners to network and establish business relationships with the private and public sector as well as development partners.”

Consequently, Madam Bowen said that MADE and its agribusiness partners are looking forward to an event that will provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, access to new technologies and markets, business meetings and networking for sustainable agricultural growth.

Moreover, the theme of this year’s edition of the event - “Market Accessibility: The Structured and Sustainable Pathway” - aligns with MADE’s intentions and interest.

“Market accessibility is a key component of the MADE Programme’s objectives. The theme thus ties in well with our plans to share lessons learnt in the implementation of the markets systems approach, and how MADE’s models and interventions have resulted in market access for agribusinesses in Northern Ghana.”

MADE is a market development programme that is driving pioneering changes in the way small rural agribusinesses engage with smallholder farmers in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) of Ghana.

The project works with agribusinesses to support the development of robust market systems for inputs, services and products.

This in turn, enables farmers to connect effectively with the inputs and services they need (certified seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, mechanisation, water management and farm advisory services) to improve their productivity and to sell more produce.

MADE also works with larger anchor firms, trade associations and commodity exchanges to improve linkages across the value chain and to enable access to wider national and international markets, and collaborates with government to improve partner knowledge of the regulatory environment and with key public institutions and regulatory bodies.

The 9th Annual Pre-Harvest Conference and Exhibition taking place at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium from 25th to 27th September, 2019 is projected to attract not less than 3000 participants and, expectedly, holds immense attraction for farmers and all stakeholders in farming and agribusiness. The national agricultural sector event is in its 9th year.

Partners and Sponsors for this year’s event includes the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Northern Development Authority, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, USAID Advance, UKaid, the MADE Programme, Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Kosmos energy, Chemico and Ghana commodity Exchange (GCX).