Whenever Christabell Afrane remembers the many fun times she always had with her cousins back in Juaso, a small village in the Ashanti region in Ghana she becomes melancholic.
During those visits which were vacations from school, they had to walk long distances with her granny to help her on her farm. The walk back was always dreadful as they had to carry loads of food and crops with their head pans. Her granny farmed on a small piece of land with cutlasses and hoes.
Today, the ways of farming especially for women has not changed much. They continue to use rudimentary ways of farming, making their work very tedious and slow. Most of the lands they farm on are small and not theirs. They have little or no information on new technologies and methodologies that can make their work faster and easier. Yet, Ghanaian smallholder women farmers contribute 60-70% of the food crops in Ghana. The sector has become very unattractive to young people especially women, who usually have a lot of misconceptions about the sector
“With a background in political science and international affairs, I believe I have a compelling story to young Ghanaian girls that no matter your background, you can play a significant role in the agribusiness sector.”
Position: President and Founder, Kairos Ladies Network, Girls Go Green Project.
Education: Political Science and International Affairs
This has seen the birth of the Kairos Ladies Network a group of professional ladies with various backgrounds yet so passionate about agribusiness. We seek to develop the interest of younger girls in agribusiness through All Girls Agric summits where discussions are held on the various exciting careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in the sector. Plans are underway to partner with various schools to set out Kairos Agricultural Clubs to revamp school farms and train female students to serve as farm managers in their schools.
The network has plans of starting its on farms to serve as demonstration farms, though we are challenged with acquiring lands, funds to start our farming business, how to market our produce and drawing up business plans.
“I hope that the online mentoring program for young women entrepreneurs will equip me with adequate knowledge on how to develop good business and marketing plans as well as introducing me to various fundraising strategies. Additionally, i hope the programme will give me an opportunity to meet and learn various business tips from women who are running great businesses all over the world.”
Again, even though Ghanaian women smallholder farmers are faced with a lot of challenges, it is time to garner support for them so that they can enjoy full benefits from the sector. Empowering women smallholder farmers in Ghana with the resources they need to increase their productivity and incomes will lead to them making meaningful contributions in their communities which can greatly inspire other girls to venture into the area. This will go a long way to help solve the youth unemployment situation in Ghana. Providing sustainable livelihoods through agribusiness for young girls will positively impact their lives.