The WiA is one of the key strategic planks of the OAK Foundation designed to achieve its objective of developing professional women entrepreneurs in productive sectors of
the Ghanaian economy. It contributes significantly to our mission of making highly educated professionals of young women by identifying and growing young women entrepreneurs.
The GiA project is an agri-business incubation scheme that focuses on identifying young female graduates who have a keen interest in developing careers as entrepreneurs within the agriculture industry; and supporting these women to establish and successfully manage businesses within this space. The vision is to produce highly successful and profitable agribusiness giants in Africa managed by women entrepreneurs. The GiA is made up of the following components:
- Land banks & tenure systems development
- Development of FARM-to-TABLE agribusiness models
- Identification, selection, formation and training of Women Graduate Business-Units
- Business incubation and advisory services
- Technical support services : Seeds & Seedlings, Extension Services, Irrigation & Water, Financial Aid, Business controls & financial controls, Sales & Marketing
- Storage & Silos (research) management
OAK Foundation has secured 1,000 acres of land in Ejura-Ashanti. The land secured is being divided into 2-10 acre lots and assigned to selected Agri-Business enterprises, preferably formed or led by young women. To take advantage of established commercial opportunity for large scale cultivation, value addition and industrial demand, the WiA project will focus on mixed cropping of cereals, legumes, tubers and vegetables.
WiA Project implementation details
- Total acreage to be cultivated = 1000 acres
- Each agribusiness enterprise’s scope of operations will cover cultivation and management of minimum 2 acres to maximum 10-acre farm, processing, value-addition, sale of industrial raw materials and marketing of consumer food brands.
- The agribusiness incubation scheme will be delivered through two main channels. Individuals and teams interested in joining the agribusiness incubator scheme may select one channel which best suits their profile, eligibility and resource capabilities.
- Under the first channel or Model 1, OAK Foundation will sublet up to 10-acres of farmland to an individual who wants to own/operate farm venture in crops and animals. OAK Foundation will provide pro forma costing for the clearance and cultivation per acre of land to this prospective partner. OAK Foundation will also provide management and marketing services on behalf of this partner, up to harvesting and selling. In this instance, the farm is owned by the investor on a build-own-operate-transfer basis for 10+ year term, which may be renewed subject to terms and conditions. If required, OAK Foundation will provide farm management services for a fee. The consideration or land tenure for the acreage allocated will be an agreed percentage of harvest proceeds. In effect, OAK will provide prospective investor with initial start-up cost per acre of land and monthly management fees to cover labour etc.
- Under the second channel or Model 2, OAK Foundation will partner with a prospective investor to cultivate up to 100-acres acres of farmland. Prospective investors may contact OAK Foundation for details and business plans for this option.
The WiA project is expected to take-off first quarter of 2017 - 2020. Currently a 30-acre demonstration farm is being cultivated, and it is in its 2nd season, after harvesting and sales of first season’s produce yielded an ROI of 50%+
Project Implementation – Business teams/units set up
- Composition – Each functional business unit will be formed and owned by an individual or a minimum 4 women or youth
- Personality attributes and competencies required
- High demonstrable interest in agriculture and agribusiness
- Hardworking and self-motivated
- Team-player and hands-on
- Willingness to travel frequently to farm site
- Demonstrable business acumen
- Self-starter and entrepreneurial competencies
- Business structure: operation as a limited liability company or partnership
- Properly constituted governance and operational control systems
- Ability to employ up to 60 people, irrespective of gender or education (laborers inclusive)
- Conformity to strict operational controls and financial management principles
Socio-economic impacts of the WiA
- Creation of agribusiness giants in Africa managed by young women entrepreneurs
- Positioning agribusiness as an effective vehicle for employment of qualified young graduates in Ghana
- Reduction of graduate unemployment which is particularly acute in young women est. @ 60% of female graduates; and enhancement of economic livelihoods of disadvantaged and rural populations
- Elimination of post-harvest losses in maize and cassava
- Assist brewery industry meet their requirement of starch for beer production locally (import substitution of barley).
- Promotion of made-in-Ghana consumer food products and agriculture and industry linkages.