Agribusinesses urged to build partnerships for growth

Accra- The Eight Edition of the annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition was on Tuesday launched to take off from October 3-5 in Tamale, with a call on stakeholders to build value-chain partnerships.

Mr Danquah Addo-Yobo, the Managing Director of Yara Ghana Limited, who made the call, said building value chain partnerships were critical to ensure the end-to-end cycle for agribusiness.

He said the partnership, which required scale, financing and a guaranteed market would help to deliver full agribusiness package for sustainable transformation of the agriculture sector in general.

The event is on the theme: Transforming Agribusiness in Northern Ghana: The Future is Now, and would give opportunity to value chain actors to establish business relationships and discuss contracts.

He said the lack of guaranteed market and the lack of financing to relevant sectors of the agribusiness value chain were the impediments that required attention and resolution for a successful transformation.

He noted that the Northern Region had been the food basket for the country and, hence, transforming agribusiness there would have a significant impact on transforming the sector.

The profitability of the farmer needed to be intensified to ensure and secure the drive to transform the agribusiness sector, Mr Addo-Yobo said.

Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director of Agrihouse, the organisers of the event, said it would provide the right platform for bringing commodity buyers, agribusiness service providers and farmers to explore and exploit other growth opportunities.

She said the Pre-harvest Conference and Exhibition was developed by experts with in-depth experience of the agricultural sector, which is also a data-driven and research oriented with a priority to finding and providing solutions to the challenges with agribusiness.

The event is in line with the Government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign as it would create the most appropriate place for businesses to identify new opportunities, discuss deals and forge partnerships.

Ms Akosa said over the last seven years, the event had helped farmers to access new market opportunities, products, services and higher yielding inputs to increase agriculture productivity.

She appreciated the efforts by all partners and sponsors – AFGRI John Deere, Ecobank, Interplast as well as the World Food Programme and Yara Ghana Limited.

Dr Nurah Gyiele, the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, who launched the Conference and Exhibition, said it had become necessary to sustain the growth of agribusiness.

He noted that the country’s sector grew from 3.0 per cent in 2016 to a provisional 8.4 per cent in 2017, according to the Ghana Statistical Service.

He said to sustain the growth rate, there was the need to increase both public and private sector investments in the agriculture sector to generate significant gains in productivity, employment and rural poverty reduction.

Dr Gyiele said the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme was making impressive strides adding that it would welcome and support such complimentary contributions of organisations to support the initiative.

“It pleases me more that this effort has welcome bias for Northern Ghana where agricultural growth would help tremendously in our poverty reduction drive in that part of the country,” he said.

He noted that if agriculture (farming and agribusiness) became successful in Northern Ghana, the problems of unemployment, low incomes and food insecurity would be solved.

The 2018 annual pre-harvest conference and exhibition is scheduled to take place at the Tamale Sports Stadium.

Mr Nanga Kaye, the Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), said they had seen some improvement in Ghana’s food supply chains from production to distribution.

He said to assist in addressing supply chain challenges along value chain, WFP had been partnering government in its “One District, One Warehouse” initiative.

He said: “We understand that supply chain management in agribusiness has the potential to strengthen the agricultural marketing channels to play major roles in the supply of foods.

Source: Ghana News Agency