Kasunya, Eastern Region—Ghana seems to have a tremendous demand for competent female tractor drivers: Only one week after the tractor training for 12 women, nine women have already been offered an employment contract by several commercial agricultural farms. It seemed to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Only some days ago at the closing ceremony of the tractor training for women, Dr. Elke Stumpf, the Head of the “Sustainable Employment through Agribusiness (AgriBiz) Programme said: “During the last four weeks, 12 women underwent skill development training in agriculture mechanisation. They are confident to increase their employability prospects e.g. starting their own farming or tractor service business or find employment on a commercial farm.”
AgriBiz cooperated with the Ghanaian company; Agro Kings Ltd. and the Agriculture Engineering Services Directorate (AESD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). These partners have organized the Women in Agriculture Mechanisation Training, for 12 enthusiastic and daring women who have successfully completed this training.
This skill development training is a continuation of the excellent GIZ support in this field. Under the GIZ Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) and Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training for Women (ATVET4W) initiatives, so far 434 females have been trained in specific topics.
Since 2018, 194 females have been trained in tractor operation, maintenance, and management including these 12 women. Between 2020 and 2021, around 250 females have been trained in the use of various machinery for specific value chains such as the mango sprayer, pruner, and harvester, oil palm harvester among others.
According to Mr. A.K.B. Deyang, Director of AESD, “it is hoped that this MoFA/GIZ collaboration will continue, in order to ensure that as many women as possible are able to access training as farm machinery operators/managers since over 600 applications of women were received.” He added: “The initiative is directly in line with the agricultural mechanisation strategy of the government of Ghana to modernize agriculture.”
Ms. Angela Barnes, the General Manager of Agro Kings underlined: “collaboration across all sectors is vital in our fight to ensure food security, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Making this partnership – between GIZ, the Government of Ghana and Agro Kings – even more important in improving agricultural systems. We look forward to putting more women, literally, in the driving seat in the mechanization of agriculture in Ghana.”
AgriBiz is a programme which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the European Union.
It works with both private and public partners to address the challenges that affect thriving women and youth in agribusiness. Addressing these challenges will make them competitive and poised to be engaged in and/or to create sustainable job opportunities especially for themselves, and others in agribusiness and other related sectors.
The Sustainable Employment through AgriBusiness (AgriBiz) Programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Government and the European Union. AgriBiz supports the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry to improve the framework conditions for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The programme also works with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, its decentralised departments, and the private sector to improve the quality of agriculture produce under the EU-financed component. AgriBiz started in April 2021 and runs until March 2024.
AgriBiz supports interventions that build the capacities of MSMEs that aggregate and process agricultural and natural products to become efficient. Support areas include tailor-made training and coaching of enterprises, improved quality management systems and certification, exploration of new markets, improved access to finance among others.
Also, MSMEs providing services and inputs along the agribusiness supply chain are supported to develop customised services for their clients (MSMEs). Additionally, AgriBiz works at capacitating member-based business organisations to represent the interests of agribusiness MSMEs through evidence-based advocacy.
The EU financed component – one pillar of the EU Ghana Agriculture Programme (EU-GAP) – is focusing on market-oriented smallholder farmers and enhancing the quality of the sorghum, mango, vegetables, cashew, rice, soya, and groundnut value chains.
The objective is to increase agricultural incomes and to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in the programme operational area. It is implemented in 14 districts of the Upper West, North-East, and Savannah regions of Ghana.
As a provider of international cooperation services for sustainable development and international education work, GIZ is dedicated to building a future worth living around the world. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security.
The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe, with the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector and governments of other countries all benefiting from our services.
We work with businesses, civil society actors and research institutions, fostering successful interaction between development policy and other policy fields and areas of activity. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is our main commissioning party.
Currently, GIZ promotes sustainable development in Ghana via about 50 programmes and projects. GIZ is boosting Ghana’s potential by focusing its projects on three priority areas: Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy, Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs as well as Peaceful and inclusive societies. Additionally, our portfolio extends to other areas such as environment, peace and security.
Another focus of GIZ’s work is linking business interests with development-policy goals. Most of the programmes and projects we support in Ghana have successfully brought together national and international private companies, the public sector, and civil society groups to collaborate on development initiatives. For more information, please visit www.giz.de/ghana
About Agro Kings
Agro Kings Limited is a Ghanaian company that focuses on farming, agro-processing, and agri-tech. It was established in 2017. The company aims to feed the burgeoning African population, empower smallholder farmers and innovate farming using advanced technology. Agro Kings currently works with over 300 smallholder farmers and it aims at working with an additional 1,700 smaller farmers by December 2022. Agro Kings has 28 full time employees of which 57% are female. Its management team is comprised of 71% female staff of a total of 7.
Agro Kings is the brain behind the #iEatLocal campaign which seeks to promote sustainable food system to feed both the present and future Ghanaian generation. The campaign encourages consumption of locally produced food in Ghana and the promotion of value addition to Ghana’s agricultural produce. The campaign will also contribute to economic growth in Ghana and target 12.3 of the SDGs which aims at halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.
Currently Agro Kings include: Nana’s Rice (mainly organic), Chichi’s Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes which comes in balls, fries and wedges, Mama’s Chicken and 100% all natural dry and wet spices such as Nana’s Chilli.
The products are sold both in retail shops and online platforms on the domestic market and on the international market in Côte d’Ivoire, Belgium, Germany, USA and China. In Ghana, Agro Kings products are sold in over 200 retail shops in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western Regions.
For further information, please visit: www.agrokings.io
About the Agriculture Engineering Services Directorate
Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate, (AESD) is one of the seven (7) technical Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The AESD’s mandate as a Technical Directorate of MoFA is to ensure the availability of farm power and other engineering technologies with sound and sustainable environmental practices for all the categories of farmers, fishermen and agro – processors in Ghana for agricultural production and related activities.
Presently, the directorate operates under four (4) units namely: farm power machinery and transport, post-harvest management, soil and water conservation engineering, rural technology information. These are responsible for: identification and selection of appropriate farm machinery, equipment and technologies for farmers, agro-processors, provision of technical advisory services to farmers and the general public and carrying such functions that help to reduce postharvest losses of grains, cereals and other highly perishable commodities among other.
The main functions of AESD are: initiation, formulation and review of agricultural engineering policies: co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of all agricultural engineering programmes, policies and projects in the country: provision of technical backstopping to MoFA staff in the regions and districts on agricultural engineering related issues: advising the Minister and Chief Director on agricultural engineering issues in the country: training and certification of tractor operators and other agricultural machinery/equipment operators
For further information, please visit: mofa.gov.gh