USAID Celebrates Women in Agribusiness

By Dipo Olowookere

The huge contributions made in the agriculture sector by women in agribusiness have been commended by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Few days ago, the agency and MEL Consulting Limited hosted a ‘Women in Agribusiness’ Summit to highlight these contributions in Ghana’s agricultural sector.

The event brought together women-led agribusinesses, farmers, processors, business service providers, financial institutions, the Government of Ghana and development partners.

In attendance were the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba; USAID/Ghana Mission Director Sharon L. Cromer; and Nestlé West and Central Africa’s Head of Agricultural Services, Fatih Ermis.

The summit promoted investment opportunities and linked women-led agribusinesses to business advisory service providers and financial institutions.

The agenda featured panel discussions on finance and business support for women-led agribusinesses, as well as business-to-business sessions. The event culminated with an awards ceremony honouring women-led agribusinesses and smallholder actors for their contribution to Ghana’s agriculture sector.

“At USAID, we believe agriculture is paramount in driving Ghana’s sustainable economic growth,” remarked Sharon Cromer, USAID/Ghana’s Mission Director. “Our Feed the Future Initiative works to equip individuals and communities by investing in gender-smart solutions. We are linking business service providers to women-led agribusinesses to increase their productivity and access to markets. Fostering broad-based inclusive economic growth means unlocking everyone’s potential, including women, to fully utilize their talents.”

This event was organized through Feed the Future and its partners, with support from USAID. Feed the Future works to increase access to finance for agribusinesses and smallholder farmers and improve agricultural productivity.

To date, Feed the Future has unlocked $140 million in private capital for more than 2,400 agribusinesses in the maize, rice and soy value chains. These efforts have benefitted more than 150,000 smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana, 42 percent of whom are women.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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