Adwoa Sintim is a 69-year-old Ghanian woman with a deep love for farming and “the peace of mind” it brings her. For more than 30 years, farming has been an integral part of her life and now she is encouraging the women in her community to pick up the practice. Her spirit was recognized when she won the 2021 Most Enterprising Female Cocoa Farmer award, made possible by the Ghana Cocoa Board and World Cocoa Foundation member donations amounting to 250,000 Ghanaian cedi. She said: “I dedicate this award to all women, both those born today and those yet to be born. I am convinced that if my efforts have been noticed and recognized, regardless of where I am, then anyone else can as well.”
Adwoa Sintim’s passion for farming began when her mother started their 70 acres family farm in Koduakrom, Sankore district, around 1990. Adwoa feels most at ease on her farm and loves the peace and quiet she enjoys there. “Farming is, in fact, something I adore. My classmates will occasionally call and inquire about my whereabouts. When I told them I was at the farm, they burst out laughing. So, when I received the award, they realized how serious I was about farming. They have now changed my name after I received the award. Some refer to me as Commander, while others refer to me as Chief Farmer and Queen of Farmers. Today, if any of them needs farming knowledge, they come to me.” When Adwoa enjoys a plentiful harvest of her vegetable crop, she usually divides what is leftover and shares it among her friends, piquing their own interest in farming. This contributes to the community’s success.
In Ghana, “some people think farming is only for men”, but Adwoa disagrees: “No woman should ever allow a man to discourage or intimidate her,” she says. “Anything a man can do; a woman can do better. A woman is the one who can nurture anything to fruition. () I have never regretted being a farmer. Anytime I come, I always have my maize, plantain, cocoyam, and cassava. As a result, I encourage all women to try their hand at farming. If only you could get a piece of land. I understand how difficult it is to acquire land because there are so many issues surrounding it. Regardless, the moment you acquire a piece of land that is free of problems, you can begin farming.”
Adwoa’s husband, Peter Kojo Sintim, is a staunch supporter of hers. Together, they established farms in Subriso where Adwoa acquired 10 acres. Now that her husband has retired, he regularly works with her on the farms. Adwoa stresses the importance of husbands respecting and supporting their wives because this allows the business to thrive.
“Now that I’ve received the Most Enterprising Female Cocoa Farmer award, my next and final goal is to become the Best Cocoa Farmer…I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage all women to be united so that everyone can be recognized in due season regardless of the size of the award…I will implore all men and women to work together to ensure the success of farming,” concludes Adwoa.