AGRA has begun accepting applications for the 2022 Women Agripreneurs of the Year Awards (WAYA), which recognizes female entrepreneurs excelling in different segments of the agricultural value chain.
To qualify, entrepreneurs need to have an innovative product or service in the agriculture value chain with evidence of impact on their communities and countries. Submissions are being received on the WAYA website until May 31 in three categories: young female agripreneur; outstanding value-adding enterprise and female Ag tech innovator. Winners will be announced at the AGRF Summit 2022, slated for 5-7 September in Kigali, each receiving a cash prize of USD20,000.
AGRA’s President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata noted that the WAYA programme is part of the VALUE4HER initiative that aims to address constraints faced by women in accessing productive resources and business opportunities.
“Women provide up to 50% of agricultural labour force, contribute up to 70% of food production, and account for 80% of food processors. They represent a crucial resource in agriculture and the rural economy through their roles as farmers, laborers, and entrepreneurs. However, they are faced with constraints limiting their full participation. AGRA’s interventions through the VALUE4HER initiatives are strengthening women’s agribusiness enterprises and increasing voice and urgency across Africa,” Dr Kalibata added.
The VALUE4HER program is focused on increasing the performance of women agripreneurs by facilitating access to markets and trade, finance, and investments, as well as opportunities for tailored online and offline matchmaking activities, learning, networking, and global advocacy.
The 2021 WAYA inaugural award celebrated Dr. Hajia Salamatu the Founder and Executive Director of WOFAN in Nigeria, Beatrice Nkatha Mmunyi the Founder and MD of Sorghum Pioneer Agencies in Kenya and Linda Kudakwashe Manyeza the Founding Director of Food Masters South Africa.
Building on lessons from engaging with women agriprenuers across the continent, AGRA seeks to encourage countries to invest strategically in women’s development, strengthening the private sector enabling environment, and building evidence-based participatory processes that will advance inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led growth, resilience, and nutrition.
The VALUE4HER initiative presents an opportunity to deliver inclusive economic growth, jobs, and health to the African continent by supporting women agriprenuers across the continent.