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Graça Machel Trust’s Women Creating Wealth -Intergenerational (WCW-I) Program

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Deadline:12TH July 2024

Women Creating Wealth (WCW) is the Trust’s flagship entrepreneurship program designed to build women entrepreneurs’ confidence, skills, and networks to scale their businesses and transition from income generation to wealth and job creation.

Graça Machel Trust’s Women Creating Wealth -Intergenerational (WCW-I) ProgramThe program aims to transform Africa’s economies through meaningful support to women entrepreneurs to enable them to grow and in so doing, uplift their communities and productive exchange and collaboration between women.

The program has already impacted 2000 women entrepreneurs in Malawi, Zambia Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.

Benfits

  • To have structured training on the WCW Online Ignite course with customized coaching, mentoring, advice, and technical
  • To equip yourself with the mindset, tools, skills, resources and networks you need to accelerate the growth of your business, so you can create employment for youth.
  • To unleash your potential as a woman entrepreneur and a wealth creator.
  • To be able to set audacious goals, find accountability partners, and strengthen personal mastery, confidence and resilience to overcome obstacles.
  • To be able to get invitations to regular entrepreneurship networking events and round tables to build social and business capital.
  • To be able to access a pool of rated service providers to support growth, access to markets and finance.
  • After completion of the program, become part of a 3-year dynamic movement led by women entrepreneurs with the ambition, vision, and commitment to create wealth for their families and employment opportunities for young people in their communities.

Eligibility

  • Young and established women who are operating a business in at least one of the following countries at the date of application:
    • Kenya
    • Malawi
    • Senegal
    • South Africa
    • Tanzania
    • Zambia
  • Age: 18years and above.
  • Must have completed secondary school education.
  • Have an annual business turnover of between USD 10,000 to USD 500,000 or the equivalent of the local currency.
  • Have business experience of at least 2 years of operating any form of business.
  • You are not presently engaged in another entrepreneurship support program lasting longer than a week.
  • Your business currently employs a minimum of 5 young people and demonstrates the potential to expand further, creating additional job opportunities for the youth.
  • Have an operational business or a product/service that can be tested in the market with the potential for growth and impact.
  • Businesses can be sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies, cooperatives, or groups.
  • Business must fall within any of the following sectors:
    • Agriculture
    • Tourism
    • Manufacturing and Value addition
    • Transport and Infrastructure
    • Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
    • Building & Construction
    • Trade and services
    • Renewable Energy/Green Energy

For more information and application

Cashew farmers urged to produce quality nuts

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Cashew farmers have been urged to produce quality nuts to fetch them good prices.

Mr Dwobeng Nyantakyi, the Value Chain Officer at the Wenchi Zonal Office of the Tree Crop and Development Authority (TCDA), gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a media engagement held at Abesim near Sunyani.

He urged the cashew farmers to adopt good farm practices such as pruning, weeding and turning and also dried the nuts well to get the required moisture content.

Cashew Watch Ghana (CWG), a Sunyani-based civil society organisation working to remove the bottlenecks and improve socio-economic livelihoods of cashew farmers, organised the engagement, also attended by cashew farmers.

It was in line with a Star Ghana Foundation-funded project, titled “amplifying the voices of Cashew farmers in Ghana” being implemented in the Jaman North and Tain Districts as well as the Jaman South Municipality of the Bono Region.

Mr Nyantakyi indicated that the government through the TCDA was committed to ensure that cashew farmers receive good prices for their products.

However, the farmers also ought to ensure they produced quality nuts.

He said the Authority had registered 1,600 aggregators, traders and importers nationwide, explaining that the aggregators were those who bought the nuts from the farmers at the farm gates and subsequently sold them to the traders and to the exporters.

Mr Nyantakyi advised the farmers to ensure that they sold their products to the registered aggregators, saying it was a serious offence punishable by law under the TCDA Act 1010 and the LI 2471 for anybody to aid unregistered people to buy cashew in the country.

He reminded them that buying and selling of cashew nuts and fruits remained a preserve of  Ghanaians and warned foreign nationals to stay away from the business or be prosecuted.

Mr Raphael Ahenu, the National Coordinator, CWG, said the cashew sector had huge economic potential to widen the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

There is therefore the need for the government to understand, appreciate the prospects and invest in the sector.

Mr Ahenu said he was worried that national cocoa production, being the backbone of the economy, was fast declining due to uncontrolled illegal mining and other unscrupulous human activities.

The cashew industry could hold forth if the government shows commitment and prioritizes the sector, he stated.

Mr Ahenu called for a fair pricing regime and price control for cashew farmers to derive optimum benefit from their farm work.

By Dennis Peprah, GNA

Two communities engaged in sustainable agricultural practices

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Some investors from Erda Illumine Low Carbon Solutions Company in India have engaged stakeholders in two communities in the Ellembelle District on sustainable agricultural practices and climate change resilience mechanisms.

The engagement, held at Kikam and Kamgbunli communities, was attended by stakeholders from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ellembelle District Assembly, Ghana Education Service, traditional rulers, community leaders, farmers, and the media.

It was a collaboration between the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and the Erda Illumine Low Carbon Solutions Company.

Climate change has become a global threat to agricultural practices and human existences which required concerted efforts to mitigate carbon from the Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Mr Wepia Awal Addo  Adugwala, President of the PFAG, speaking at the opening of the event said the Indian investors were in the district to study the environment and climatic conditions and how best they could assist farmers to find nature-based solutions to agriculture.

He mentioned some of the interventions as the use of bio-digesters to produce biogas to fertilize the farms, carbon sequestration, agroecology, afforestation, filtration of polluted rivers and build a dam for irrigation of a rice farm at Kamgbunli  as well as an organic tomato farming, among others.

Mr Adugwala assured the investors of their readiness to cooperate with them to ensure a major boost in agricultural productivity in the district.

Mr Gagagdeep Arya, Director at the Erda Illumine Low Carbon Solutions Company, who was flanked by his Programme Associates, Messrs. Kishan Karanaken and Chewdhuny Nasmul Haque, expressed profound gratitude to the PFAG for the maiden invitation to Ghana to help streamline agricultural practices in the quest for food security.

He said negotiations with the EPA had been completed in Accra and asked the communities to pool their resources together to undertake the project which would involve training, education, skills development, and direct employment.

The team which had visited a rice farm at Kamgbunli, where a dam was under construction along the River Fia, said they would embark upon filtration of the polluted river from the source for irrigation purposes.

The team also visited the Uthman Bin Affan Islamic Senior High School at Kamgbunli where they assured the school of assisting them in tree planting exercise with economic and other trees.

By  P.K.Yankey, GNA

Chief urges government to rehabilitate cocoa roads at Tikobo No 2

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The people of Tikobo No 2, in the Jomoro Municipality, has appealed to the government and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to rehabilitate cocoa roads in the area to give cocoa production a major boost in the area.

COCOBOD
COCOBOD

Nana Arvo-Nwiah  V, Chief of  of the area noted with concern that bad and inaccessible roads in the farming community hampered the activities of cocoa farmers, thus negatively affected productivity.

Nana Arvo-Nwiah V, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview said: “Though about 70 per cent of cocoa produced in Jomoro comes from Tikobo No 2, not a single road has been awarded on contract for rehabilitation.”

According to him, the rivers linking the community and cocoa farms, had no durable bridges, saying, “Unfortunately, cocoa farmers and their children are usually carried away during a heavy downpour.”

He said the government and COCOBOD must, therefore, pay urgent attention to the deplorable roads in the area to help increase productivity in the area.

By P.K.Yankey

Crops Research Institute highlights importance of common beans

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The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has highlighted the importance of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) as a food, secured with high nutrition and has potential for higher incomes for producers.

CSIRThese beans are key sources of protein, calories, vitamins and minerals, iron and zinc.

The nutritional advantages of common beans have been further enhanced through biofortification.

At a workshop involving the major stakeholders on the common beans value chain at Fumesua, near Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, Dr, Emmanuel Asamoah Adjei, a Seed Scientist, at the CSIR-CRI, said it was critical to engage the stakeholders on the importance of the various varieties of the beans which had already been released by the Institute.

He said the varieties, which included “Ennepa”, “Semanhyia”, “Nsroma” and “Adoye” were not common on the markets and there was the need to engage stakeholders further to expose the product and its benefits in contributing to the nutrition, health, and socio-economic well-being of the people.

Dr Adjei explained that after the workshop, the stakeholders, made up of seed producers, seed processors, seed growers/farmers, food processors, would be in a better position to disseminate the technology (new bean varieties) for farmers to be aware and maximize the production of the crop.

The Seed Scientist was confident that if Ghanaian farmers adopted these early maturing and high yielding varieties, the cost of the importation of baked beans would reduce drastically.

He pointed out that, common beans were one of the cash crops for Eastern and Southern African countries, adding that, if Ghana could produce in huge quantities to feed its people, it could also consider exporting for foreign exchange.

Common beans, according to Dr Adjei, thrived in most parts of Ghana and it was important the private sector invested in its production and technology to help create jobs.

Dr. Stephen Yeboah, Senior Research Scientist at CSIR-CRI, hinted that the Instituted had initiated a two-year project to promote sustainable farming through development and dissemination of rice-bean cropping systems.

The Project titled “Developing and Deploying Drought Tolerant High Iron Bean Varieties that fit the Legume-Rice Crop Rotation in Ghana, is being funded by the Alliance for Green Revolution of Africa.

It will be implemented by the CSIR-CRI in collaboration with the Alliance for Biodiversity International and CIAT through the Pan-African Bean Research Alliance.

Dr. Yeboah said the Project would release two drought-tolerant bean varieties to smallholder farmers to address climate change associated problems as well as evaluate and release two high iron and zinc bean varieties to reduce malnutrition.

Professor James Yaw Asibuo, a Principal Research Scientist, CSIR-CRI, said Ghana was going to benefit from maximizing bean production.

“We are not only looking at exports, but we also want to see the value chain where a lot of people including processors, seed growers, processors into animal feed, consumers and others in the production cycle will benefit.”

The stakeholders after the meeting inspected the common bean seed production fields at CRI.

The Institute used the meeting to sign a memorandum of understanding with the seed companies to project the production of quality and viable seeds for farmers.

By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA

Agrihouse Foundation launches Gold in Soil Awards

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The sixth edition of the Women in Food and Agric Leadership Training Forum (WOFAGRIC) and the Gold in Soil Awards (GISA) has been launched in Accra.

The WOFAGRIC is a platform where women in agriculture converge to share ideas and receive training, mentorship, and financial support to expand their businesses.

The GISA is a women-focused award ceremony that promotes, strengthens, and motivates women achievers in agribusiness at the community, district, and regional levels.

The launch of the two events took place on Thursday, June 13. It was held by Agrihouse Foundation, organisers of the forum and awards ceremony.

This year’s edition will take place in the Bono region of Ghana from the 9th to the 10th of July 2024.

Applications are being accepted for submission in seventeen different award categories.

Some of the categories include the Passion for Farm; Outstanding Woman in Extension Services; She-Innovates; The Super Woman Award; Climate-Smart Women Project Award; Star in Ag Award; and Royal Agro Award.

The two events aim to raise awareness of the contributions made by women in the agricultural industry and encourage more people to follow them.

Speaking at the launch, Madam Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director, Agrihouse Foundation, said although some women in rural communities indirectly provide food for many people, they are not acknowledged or honored for their contributions to food security.

She emphasized that many other women could make significant contributions to the agricultural industry when provided with farming equipment.

Madam Akosa said the purpose of the forum and the awards ceremony was to provide women with the necessary resources and acknowledge the arduous work of those who labour behind the scenes.

She said award winners would take home tricycles, wellington boots, fertilisers and seed capitals to help them grow their businesses.

According to her, the Foundation’s sole aim is to empower and equip female farmers, agro-processors, livestock farmers, and farmers with disabilities with the necessary skills.

Speaking on the impact made so far, Madam Akosa said over 6000 women have been empowered directly and indirectly over the last five years.

She said some of those women had made progress in their businesses by growing their clientele outside of Ghana, while others had spoken at conferences because of the Agrihouse Foundation’s training and experiences.

For that reason, she encouraged women involved in agribusiness to take part in the programmes.

Dr. Comfort Acheampong, Coordinator, Ghana National Egg Secretariat, said women were the backbone of Ghana’s agricultural environment and played a critical role in agriculture worldwide.

She noted, though, that many encounter obstacles that restrict how much they can significantly impact the agriculture industry.

Dr Acheampong said the two initiatives were created by the Agrihouse Foundation to break down barriers and give women in agriculture a stage on which to display their innovative ideas and skills.

She urged stakeholders in the agri-business to collaborate to examine the gaps in the industry and potential solutions.

Ms. Theresa Randolph, Country Manager, Yara Ghana, said that her outfit would collaborate with Agrihouse Foundation to support farmers in achieving resilience, prosperity, and sustainable agriculture.

She also urged all stakeholders to keep cooperating to create a thriving and inclusive agricultural sector that would improve food security and guarantee the livelihoods of farmers, their communities, and the country.

By Agnes Ansah

Ghanaians urged to consider investing in commercial tree planting

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Mr Francis Brobbey, the District Manager of the Sunyani Forest Services Division (FSD), has urged Ghanaians to consider investing in commercial tree planting to benefit the environment and enhance their economic prospects. 

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in Sunyani, Mr. Brobbey emphasized the profitability of tree planting as a business venture that businessmen and young individuals could explore to generate income.

He highlighted the importance of planting more trees to help replenish depleted forest reserves and safeguard the climate.

Mr. Brobbey also underscored the employment opportunities that commercial tree planting could offer, noting that planting trees on a hectare of land would create job opportunities for an individual.

He explained that scaling up tree planting efforts to cover larger areas would give employment to people.

Emphasizing the significance of the Green Ghana initiative, Mr. Brobbey described it as a platform to harness the economic, environmental, and social benefits of tree planting.

He said participants in commercial tree planting activities since the launch of Green Ghana in 2021 had already reaped the rewards, urging other business leaders and individuals with resources to join for tangible economic gains.

Mr. Brobbey encouraged Ghanaians to engage in tree planting initiatives to create employment opportunities for the youth, contribute to environmental restoration for all to enjoy the social advantages associated with trees.

By Benjamin Akoto, GNA

Yara Ghana launches YaraVita Croplift Bio product

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Yara Ghana Limited, a fertilizer producing company, has launched its YaraVita Croplift Bio product in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital.

The product is a foliar fertilizer containing essential nutrients such as NPK, secondary and trace elements including zinc, boron and magnesium that would improve fruit quality and enhance crop yield.

The product is also a crop booster and supplement, ideal for all cereals including maize, rice, sorghum, millet, fruits, vegetables and tree crops such as cocoa.

The launch brought together some District Directors from the Department of Food and Agriculture and selected farmers, who were taken through practical demonstration on how to apply the product on crops.

Madam Theresa Randolph, the Country Manager of Yara Ghana Limited, in an interview with journalists after the launch, said the product was designed by the Company as part of initiatives to improve its environmental footprint.

“It enables us to ensure that we can have better and correct application of the nutrients right to the source where the plant needs it most, and this was the rational behind this product,” she said.

Asked how different the product was from those already on the market, Madam Randolph explained that “The clear difference is in the fact that, this is a foliar fertilizer.

“The application is directly to the leave of the plant, where the plant is about to absorb the nutrient directly, which is quite different from normal fertilizer application to the soil,” she added.

She said if farmers properly used the right quantity of the product and applied it directly to the leaves of their plants, as was demonstrated to them, it would ensure that they had general foliage, better flowering and crop yields.

“This enhances right after basal application. Two weeks after the basal application, if they apply the YaraVita Croplift Bio product, they kind of yield that they are expecting will definitely increase and, therefore, the farmer ultimately benefits,” Madam Randolph said.

She said the product had undergone extensive testing by the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, and was further taken through development studies at the University for Development Studies in Tamale to ensure it worked well within the environment.

The Country Manager said management of Yara Ghana Limited would continue with its mission to ensure prosperity of all farmers, reduce the use of fertilizer, soil contamination for less nutrient contamination both in the soil and nutrient run-off into water bodies.

Mr Basit Ussif Alabi, an Agronomist with Yara Ghana Limited, who spoke on crop health, said “Crop health basically boiled  down to crop nutrition. The nutrition by which the plant was been fed determined the immune system of the plant.

“So Croplift Bio, is a product we are introducing into the market that has all the essential nutrients to support the crop from the initial stage of growth till harvest,” he said.

Mr Christopher Atasu, a farmer at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after the launch, expressed the hope that the product would help boost his crop yields.

“As a farmer, it is s the end results that I want. If we get good harvest after using the product on the variety of crops mentioned, then the product would be well patronized,” he said.

GNA

Farmers in Sisalla East supported with ruminants

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-Mr. Fuseini Batong Yakubu, the Sisalla East Municipal Chief Executive, has distributed ruminants for rearing around border communities, with a call not to sell but to take good care of them to improve their living conditions.

Sissala East MCE, Mr. Fuseini Batong Yakubu hands over goats to beneficiaries at Tumu
Sissala East MCE, Mr. Fuseini Batong Yakubu hands over goats to beneficiaries at Tumu

He handed over 150 improved goats to 18 persons from border communities as part of the Changing Lives in Innovative Partnerships (ClIP) project.

He advised the beneficiaries to take good care of the animals for them to multiply saying, “I plead with you not to sell or slaughter them Sallah but see it as an investment that you would take care of to improve your livelihood and incomes for your families.

“As you begin rearing, if you let them multiply, the provider could extend similar support to others in the area, if you take good care of them.”

Mr. Yakubu said the support to communities around the border towns was dear to the heart of the government to work with partners to reduce the burden and pressure brought onto communities that hosted persons that fled from violent extremist activities.

Mr. Salifu Mahama, the Sisalla East Municipal Director of Agriculture admonished the three communities Banu, Konchogu and Kassanpouri,  to take good care of the animals and ensure they benefit themselves and their families.

“Animals are like humans, so when you get up in the morning feed them well and they will run back home all the time, create a home for them in your house and don’t allow them to roam freely,” he said.

Mr. Alhassan Mohammed Sayibu, the Technical Adviser of Changing Lives in Innovative Partnerships (ClIP), said the distribution of the animals was a follow-up of the data gathered in the community sometime back.

He said the purpose was to rebuild the economic capacity of communities along the borderline that hosted communities that fled the Jihadist attacks from Burkina Faso and other Sahel regions.

He said the project targeted border districts and communities that hosted the asylum seekers by improving the livelihood of host communities through improved livestock breeding, livelihood, capacity building for women and promoting cross-border dialogue to enhance peace.

Mr. Sayibu added that the project intervened to support and build the capacity of women to diversify through agro-processing and village savings schemes to improve their incomes.

He noted that the project will improve social cohesion between asylum seekers and trans-human herders through dialogue to keep the peace within front-line communities scattered along the border.

The cost of the project is GH¢285,575.00, and it is being implemented in three districts- Sissala East, Sissala West and Lambussie of the Upper West Region-by ClIP, a non-government organisation based in France with funding support from the French Foreign Affairs under the Crisis Management Centre.

By Mohammed Balu, GNA

Prices of yam surge in Tamale 

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There has been a surge in yam prices in Tamale, a city in a region traditionally known for its abundant supply of the commodity. 

Some tubers of yam in Tamale Central Market 
Some tubers of yam in Tamale Central Market

Although it is a season where yam is expected to be cheaper, prices have skyrocketed about three times the usual prices.

A visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to the Tamale Central Market revealed that three small tubers of yam, which were previously sold for Gh₵10, is now selling between Gh₵30 and Gh₵40.

Three medium size tubers, which sold for Gh₵30, now goes for GH₵70.

One of the sellers, who gave her name as Hajia Memuna, told the GNA that the surge in price was unusual during this time of the year.

She said the month of June was known for the abundance of the new yam and attributed the surge to delayed rain patterns.

She lamented the dire effect of price changes on the business and said she recorded lower sales compared to other years.

Ms Shemima Mohammed, also a yam seller, said yams could be found in some communities in the region at lower prices.

However, the cost of transporting them to the regional capital contributed to the hike in prices, she said.

Ms Mohammed said while the prices per size varied from one seller to another, yams had generally become more expensive in Tamale.

Meanwhile, the effect is being felt on prices of fried yam in the metropolis, where a sizable piece, previously sold for 50 pesewas, is now reduced into smaller chunks of three being sold for Gh₵2.00.

By Rosemary Wayo, GNA