After 13 weeks of training, practice, field trips and exposure, the Miss Agriculture Ghana beauty pageant finally crowned its latest queen at the MJ Grand Hotel last Saturday. 30 year-old Margaret Afriyie, a farmer and midwife earned the grand spot at the end of contest which had 14 contestants competing for the ultimate crown.
Miss Margaret Afriyie
According to Ms. Akosua Kyere Ghansah, the founder of the pageant and former queen of Ghana’s Most Beautiful 2016, the idea behind the pageant is to attract young women into agriculture and make it sustainable. She noted that “As past queen for Ghana’s Most Beautiful, I came up with the idea because I had so much interest in Agriculture and I felt we had focused so much on other things like streetism, teenage pregnancy and neglected what is really the backbone of the economy”. She said her focus was to use pageantry, fashion and make-ups to attract young women into picking up agriculture as an alternative job or business venture and also feed themselves.
Miss Agriculture Ghana 2018 crowns Margaret Afriyie
With over 55 applications received from females from the ages of 18 to 35 with diverse backgrounds across the country, the pageant, groomed 30 applicants and shortlisted the final 14 contestants who battled out in different sessions for the crown on the night.
Prior to the contest, Ms. Margaret Afriyie gained social media popularity for a project she had started in Ahwerewamu, a small town in the Ashanti region where she works as a midwife. This involved creating awareness on the abuse of agrochemicals. This, she believes played a positive role towards her success in the competition. She added that aside her social media popularity, she’s also gained attention from the media and from some companies that has supported her project. She commended HortiFresh Ghana and some agrochemical companies for their support. She added that “There’s the need to do this because where I work, some farmers ignorantly mix two or more chemicals in wrongful quantities, do not wear protective gears or are unable to properly dispose off chemical containers after use. Some end up using these containers to fetch and drink water which isn’t a safe thing to do”. She appealed to everyone including her colleague contestants to support her course.
Ms. Afriyie also currently, cultivates cabbage after she and her brothers lost their 50 acre plantain plantation (land) to the state.
The contest also awarded other contestants based on activities prior to the event and performances on the night. It saw many patrons and fans come in to throw their support behind their favorite competitors.
Winners were decided based on votes from the public within the 13 weeks and marks awarded by judges on the night.
2018 winner, Afriyie Obeng-Fosu who also graced the occasion with her presence, expressed her admiration for the current queen and asked her to brace herself up for all influential roles and partnerships that come with it. “I can’t even talk about all the exposure and opportunities she will be getting after here. There’s just so much of them. I have been a part of influential decisions on the youth, agriculture and women just by virtue of being Miss Agriculture Ghana 2018. I’ve worked with opinion leaders, politicians, committees and many bodies on issues concerning agriculture and women and I know she won’t do any less. In fact I expect her to do better than myself because she is the latest queen and an upgraded version of me”
Ms. Obeng-Fosu works as an agriculture officer with the Adenta Municipal Assembly in the Greater-Accra Region. After her win, she founded Innovative Agriculture Mines (I-AM) which is currently into oyster mushroom production. I-AM aims to develop soon into producing all agricultural (edible) commodities and also provide services in consultation.
Harriet Boatemaa Yeboah, a final year geography student at the University of Ghana and third runner up shared her delight on the exposure she had gained at the end of the contest. She noted that prior to the contest, she had little knowledge in agriculture but has now come to love the science. She said “I had little passion for agriculture before getting into the pageant, then I started reading more on it when I got in and that has really helped boost my interest. Now I’m in love with my project on “women on wheels” and I’m going to do more on it. I’m also glad to have been spotted by GIZ and I hope for the best for the future”.
The winner receives a crown, an all expense paid trip to farmers’ day celebration for a week, cash prize to support her project and also becomes the brand ambassador for the project for a year.
Ms. Akosua Kyere Ghansah appealed to all corporate bodies, the agriculture ministry and other key players to join in to support the program and make it a success in the years to come.
Miss Agriculture Ghana 2019 was supported by Women In Agricultural Development – Ministry of Food and Agriculture ( WIAD – MoFA), Ghsell.com, Bel-aqua mineral water, Food Factory limited, Kusaka Restaurant, Empire State Hotel, Amplifies Ghana and Pamhyɛ by Kwodwo.
By: Dennis Baffour-Awuah