Agrihouse Foundation thus year held the 12th edition of its Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions in the northern region, on the theme, Connecting the Unconnected: The Farmer-the- Buyer and the Market.
The three (3) day most important Farmer to Buyer and Agribusiness market linkage event took place on Tuesday, October 25 to Thursday, October 27, at the Aliu Mamaha Sports Stadium, in Tamale, whiles the practical training and demonstration sessions took place at the Agrihouse Agri-Village Training, Apprenticeship and Demonstration Centre, in Bamvim.
The event annually, brings together over three thousand (3000) Farmers of Maize, rice, soyabean, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut, cashew, vegetables, livestock and value chain actors within the agricultural sector, to discuss the production demands, pricing, innovative approaches to boosting farm yields and introduce new Agric Technologies, for development and advancement.
The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa has noted the platform has generated an estimated 5 billion USD of businesses for agribusinesses and value chain actors in the last eleven (11) years. She said, over three thousand (3000) participants were recorded last year; resulting in a fifteen percent (15%) increase in productivity among various farmer groups, and value chain actors who patronized the event. Between 2017 to 2021, the four (4) key areas of the event; Exhibitions, Farmer-to-Buyer Matchmaking, Training and Capacity Building and Field Demonstrations, have seen about 25 to 75 percent increase in growth and sales among equipment and machinery dealers, financial institutions, ICT and telecommunication companies, she added.
She further stated that, the farmer-based organizations have established relationships with aggregators, while agro-processors have purchased over 14,000 MT of soybean and 31,000 MT of maize from farmers. For instance, in 2019, we recorded 70 business deals during the Exhibitions, which resulted in about GHS32, 420, 745, worth of sales, among input dealers, machinery and equipment dealers, she revealed.
Despite this year’s global challenges, the Exhibitions still recorded marginable increase as last year recorded 118 exhibitors consisting of Farmer groups, Input, Seed Dealers, Agric Marketing Experts, and Financial Institutions. Others included Aggregators, Brand Specialists, Transporters, Equipment and Machinery Companies, Processing and Packaging Companies, Development and Donor Partners, Corporate Institutions, Civil Society and Government Agencies.
The Preharvest activity line-up also witnessed increase thus included the Farmer-to-Farmer Apprenticeship Session and was specifically designed as a Technical and Practical session. Further learning opportunity, where experienced field representatives ran demonstrative training sessions for farmers, farmer groups, including PWDs and other women-led groups. This was meant to help both local and commercial farmers develop and strengthen their capacities, and to practically embrace and manage machines, equipment and agri farm inputs that will enhance their productivity and market growth, Ms. Akosa said.
The Ten (10) acre Agrihouse Foundation Agri-Village Training, Apprenticeship and Demonstration Centre in Bamvim also hosted series of technical and demonstration sessions whereas the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale, was used as the grounds for the grand Exhibition and Capacity building sessions.
Over two hundred and twelve (212) FBO leaders, Farm Associations, out-growers of rice, soyabean, sorghum, maize and vegetables participated in the sessions; which in various previous editions were led by companies including, Yara Ghana, GIZ, Demeter, UCFL, TECAS, Farm more Company Ltd/N-Drip Irrigation, among others.
Lead sponsor for the event, Yara Ghana called for value chain actors and agribusiness in the country to support the event, and reiterated the need for more digitization in the agricultural sector, as the paramount way to achieve the theme for this year’s event.
The West Africa Regional Director of Yara International, solutions, Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo said, Yara has rolled out a number of digital tools and innovative systems this year, which was shared with participants as part of the training and capacity building sessions.
GIZ-MOAPs Inclusive Business Models Expert, Mr. Rueben Binpori, reiterated GIZ-MOAPs technical and financial support towards Pre-harvest, and outlined a number of agric-related projects GIZ-MOAP through the funding of the European Union in Ghana, is implementing across the country to support value chain actors.
Other sponsors of the 12th Preharvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference event included Demeter, Ecobank and ADB, with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, as organizing Partners.
Source: Ghana/zaaradio.com-Agrihouse/Lilian D. Walter