Agricultural value chain offers many opportunities for women – Prof Stanley Dary

By Aminu Ibrahim II Contributor
Social News Agricultural value chain offers many opportunities for women – Prof Stanley Dary

Prof Stanley Dary, Director of the Directorate of Community Outreach and Business Incubation at the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD UBIDS), has said there are many opportunities that exist within the agricultural value chain that women can leverage to improve their socio-economic statuses.

Prof Dary said this during the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) Women's Bootcamp, an entrepreneurship capacity building and experience sharing workshop for women, held at the SDD UBIDS over the weekend.

He said agriculture was beyond the use of the how and cutlass as have been the thought of many people over the years.

"When you talk of agriculture, people are thinking of somebody with a hoe and cutlass farming on some small piece of land; the agricultural value chain is just beyond farming, farming or production is just one of the stages within the agricultural value chain.

"There are so many other opportunities that the agricultural value chain offers that women can take advantage of it," Prof Dary said.

He said venturing into agriculture within any of the value chains has become viable and more important in the face of growing unemployment rates among young people in Africa and Ghana inclusive.

Madam Maria Johana Yuorpor, the Founder of Mara Foods, an indigenous food processing firm, said it was important to whip the interest of women into agriculture where they can earn meaningful living for themselves.

She said getting women into the agricultural space does not necessarily mean having them to use the hoe and the cutlass or being at the farm but encouraging them to identify their niches along the value chain.

"It is high time now we got women motivated, young women motivated to be in the space of agric.

"Getting into the space of agric does not necessarily mean they should be the ones farming but the agric value chain is a very long one; the young ladies can find themselves somewhere in the value chain," she said.

Madam Rashida Iddrisu, with the Women in Agricultural Development Unit of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Upper West Region, added that numerous opportunities abound in the agricultural space ranging from production and input supply through service delivery and aggregation to value addition and marketing.

She said the Upper West Region was ranked top in terms of arable crop production which offered good opportunities for women to take advantage of.

"And our ladies can go into the production of crops like maize, groundnut, soybeans, these are all commodities with high nutrients and they are also having high prices when it comes to the marketing," she said.

She added that women could go into the sales of fertilizers, agrochemicals, and improved seeds as well as the production of services such as threshers, tricycles, and planters which they could render at a fee.

"In the area of marketing, they can add little value to some of the commodities we produce like the cowpea, the groundnut, the maize, sorghum, they process some flour and use the flour to make other products and sell," she added.

She encouraged the young women to take advantage of the opportunities by developing interest in the sector assuring that, the offices of the Department of Agriculture were always opened to them.

The KIC Women's Bootcamp brought together young women and students to a day of capacity building and experiencing sharing with seasoned women entrepreneurs and leaders.