Improving Women’s Access to Income through Soybean Production and Processing in Northern Ghana.
To address some of the challenges confronting Women and Children in Northern Ghana, YOVI since 2010 has engaged communities in the Tolon District and Savelugu Municipal to embark on farming activities particularly Soybean production to reduce poverty and hunger through inclusive use of ICT for youth employment, agricultural growth, as well as food security and improved nutrition. We do this by enhancing capacity of rural women in entrepreneurial skills development and the use of ICT in business management. The overall goal of the programme is aimed at facilitating the economic transformation of youth in Northern Ghana’s agricultural sector, particularly soybean to achieve a greater degree of stability in their enterprises and livelihoods, and will as well contribute to nutritional improvement for children under 5 years and their families.
Current global efforts at addressing the challenges of Youth participation and commitment to exploiting and utilising ICT to enhance their capacities for self-employment, entrepreneurship and empowerment have so far yielded widely varied results. By its design, the programme recognises the complexity of factors that drive youth entrepreneurship and the multi-sectoral nature of the phenomenon and challenge of youth unemployment/under-employment in Northern Ghana in addressing factors impacting entrepreneurship (such as access to credit, property rights, regulatory restrictions, and weak infrastructure) and the societal context shaping youth entrepreneurship, such as values, attitudes towards youth entrepreneurship, and social and professional networks. This programme is designed to improve upon and develop soybean value chain, because soybean is a youth-and women-friendly crop, having quietly escaped from the basket of staple crops cultivated in Northern Ghana. This makes soybean the most crop cultivated by youth, who obtain immediate cash to meet their ever-increasing personal and business needs.
With its high youth unemployment and underdeveloped private sector, Ghana Government is particularly interested and has been seeking external support to promote youth entrepreneurship, particularly in agriculture. Promoting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has become a policy priority in the wake of Ghana’s oil & gas discovery to drive an emerging and thriving economy, and to address constraints that are making it even more challenging for graduating youth to find employment in the public sector or in established private firms. The emergence of youth entrepreneurship in agriculture as a viable livelihood option is a high policy priority for Ghana.