Promoting gender entrepreneurship in agriculture is crucial for empowering women and unlocking the sector’s full potential. The perception attached to agriculture as a profession has deterred young individuals from pursuing careers in this field. However, it is crucial to change this mindset and encourage the youth, especially females, to actively participate in agriculture for the sustainable development of the nation. One of the primary reasons for the negative perception towards agriculture is the stereotype that it is a profession for the less educated or financially disadvantaged individuals.
This derogatory portrayal has discouraged many young individuals from considering agriculture as a viable career option. To dispel this misconception, it is essential to highlight the opportunities and benefits that agriculture offers, including income generation, job security, and potential for entrepreneurship. Emphasizing the potential for entrepreneurial ventures within agriculture is crucial to capturing the interest and motivation of the youth, especially females.
Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are actively working to change the mindset of youth towards agriculture. Implementing policies and programs that prioritize youth engagement in agriculture is creating a conducive environment for young individuals to pursue careers in the sector. This includes providing financial support, access to land and resources, and offering specialized training programs tailored to the needs of the youth.
One such initiative is the Technical Education Development for Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (TEDMAG) Consortium, which is making significant strides in supporting female entrepreneurs in agricultural colleges across Ghana. TEDMAG’s commitment to empowering women in agriculture is evident through initiatives like the Global Community Service Project and the establishment of agricultural incubation hubs.
TEDMAG’s recent donation of six thousand Canadian dollars for female agripreneurs in Ghana demonstrates their commitment to supporting women in agriculture.The pilot projects at Damongo and Ejura Agricultural College & Mechanization Centre demonstrate TEDMAG’s dedication to empowering women in agriculture.The overarching goal is to foster a supportive atmosphere that encourages female entrepreneurship and equal opportunity for women in agriculture.
TEDMAG specifically focuses on young women, as they represent a significant resource for the future of the agricultural sector. The initiative aims to establish a pilot Gender and Women’s Study Initiative (GWSI) at two agricultural colleges to promote culturally responsive pedagogy, develop coaching and mentorship programs for young women, and raise awareness of female agripreneurial capacity.
Teachers and students who have benefited from the TEDMAG project at the Damongo Agricultural College are already witnessing positive changes. Mary Badu, a beneficiary, highlights how their practical experience has enabled them to expand their soya and maize farms from five to 30 acres. If such initiatives are extended to other agricultural colleges in the country, Ghana’s agricultural sector can thrive with the increased participation of women.
Stakeholders at the workshop stated that providing women with access to quality education and training programs equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in agricultural entrepreneurship. This includes offering training on modern farming techniques, financial management, marketing strategies, and leadership skills. Also, access to credit and financial services is a key enabler for female entrepreneurs in agriculture. By partnering with financial institutions, government agencies, and NGOs, programs can be developed to provide microloans, savings schemes, and financial literacy training tailored to the needs of women in agriculture.
They said, securing land tenure for women is vital to promoting their entrepreneurship in agriculture. Land reforms that provide women with equal rights to land ownership, use, and inheritance are essential to ensuring their long-term commitment and investment in agricultural activities; access to quality seeds, fertilizers, and modern farming technologies can significantly enhance productivity and profitability for women farmers. These initiatives can provide valuable guidance, inspiration, and opportunities for female entrepreneurs to thrive
By partnering with financial institutions, government agencies, and NGOs, programs can be developed to provide micro-loans, savings schemes, and financial literacy training tailored to the needs of women in agriculture. They said, securing land tenure for women is vital to promoting their entrepreneurship in agriculture. TEDMAG’s call to enhance the attractiveness of agricultural colleges in Ghana for women and the youth is crucial for fostering gender equality and promoting the active participation of young individuals in agriculture. Through initiatives like the pilot GWSI and the establishment of agricultural incubation hubs, TEDMAG is paving the way for a more prosperous and sustainable future for women in agriculture.
The Global Community Service Stakeholder Consultation workshop brought together various key stakeholders, including traditional leaders, self-empowered communities, colleges, female tutors, and students, to collectively work towards a successful future in agriculture for Ghana. Changing the mindset of youth, especially females, towards agriculture in Ghana is essential for the sustainable development of the country’s agricultural sector. By debunking stereotypes, emphasizing opportunities for entrepreneurship, providing education and training, promoting role models, and creating awareness through media, we can encourage the youth to actively participate in agriculture. Promoting gender entrepreneurship in agriculture in Ghana is not just a matter of social justice but also a smart economic move.