Africa is slowly but surely ebbing towards a certain population explosion, that could be compounded by the accompanying vicissitudes of climate change.

With estimates pointing to 2.2 billion people by the year 2050, the ability of farmers to increase productivity is critical to the sustenance of lives.

In Ghana, the impact of technology on agriculture continues to deepen at a very remarkable rate. Indeed agriculture has metamorphosed from simplistic methodology to tech sophistication. Today technologies of all sorts have collectively made a transformative contribution to a sector that still remains a primary support- base for the Ghanaian economy.

It is in acknowledgement of the vital role of technology in boosting agric productivity that OCP Africa participated in the annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition and thus took advantage of the event to drum home the need for farmers and other value chain actors to embrace technology exhaustively.

As a sponsor and facilitator, OCP Africa joined forces with organizers and other key stakeholders at the event held from 25th -27th September 2019.

At the event, OCP Africa led farmer-capacity building sessions intended by organizes to help participants  understand the need to wholly embrace technology as the way forward into the future of agriculture.

Responding to a pre-event questionnaire structured to draw the views of partners and sponsors, OCP Africa reflected on numerous themes tied to the event.

On the relevance of this year’s theme “Market Accessibility: The Structured and Sustainable Pathway”, the firm pointed out that it reinforced its operational pathway. “It fits perfectly with one of our projects which are helping farmers with inputs and markets for their produce. Indeed, our chief expectation was to reach out to the teeming and prospective Agripreneurs with OCP Africa’s innovative solutions.”

The firm played an active part at the event by taking charge of sessions that bothered on New Technologies and ICT Innovations and The Dry method used by the firm in its new technology based on ICT System.

The platform also afforded the firm the opportunity to introduce participants to new soil testing technologies and the impact on the farmers’ business. This further aided the company’s aspiration of creating awareness of the existence of new technologies to test their soils in real time through the innovative ‘OCP School Lab’.

OCP Africa is a world –renowned firm versed in the production and distribution of mineral fertilizer. Since venturing into Ghana, the firm has established itself as a partner of progress to the Ghanaian farmer.

The company has an expansive nationwide distribution network, which affords it the leverage of offering technical support for farmers around the country.

With a central vision  that is hinged on a desire to be a global leader in sustainable agriculture, the firm operates with  a wider pool of organizational aspirations, which include being environmentally responsible, and responding to major global challenges, particularly those that directly affect the companies farmer-clients. The firm currently operates in twelve (12) countries across the continent of Africa.

Background

The 9thPre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition came off at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale, with a call on stakeholders to identify and make the most of the avalanche of prospects presented by the local agricultural sector.

For the second year running, the event took a three-day dimension; with organisers structuring the event to reflect in-depth insights, actionable and practical tools of engagement models, methods and mechanisms for improved productivity by industry firms. Led by seasoned resource persons, participants savoured riveting seminar sessions which had been deliberately structured to improve knowledge and stimulate a collective vision for a better agricultural sector.

Backed by significant pre-event media buzz, the event saw a mammoth assemblage of key actors in the various sectors of the agricultural value chain such as farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers, equipment dealers, financial institutions, policy makers among others.

The event was graced by government officials, international donor organizations, the Diplomatic Community among others-the major draw being a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange and a renewed drive for exploring   practical ways through which the sector could become more attractive and profitable through best practices.

Event Basis

Billed under the theme, “Market accessibility: The Structured and Sustainable Pathway”, the Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference is an interventional forum that presents realistic opportunities for various value chain actors in the agric sector to meet, discuss business, contracts and work together as a coherent team whose goal is to ensure that enough produce is available locally for consumption; thereby mitigating the risks associated with excessive importation. The annual agric showpiece is made up of farmers, public and private sector business officials and other stakeholders who collectively share an innate desire to see an improved agricultural sector for Ghana.

The event provided participants a platform where diverse services linked to the agric sector, such as seed production, fertilizer, finance, fisheries, storage, machinery, livestock, and packaging & processing, ICT among others.

 Participants were equally taken through practical and engaging sessions at the conference to enable them gain deeper insights into best practices as well as how to take full advantage of the numerous opportunities in the agric sector for growth and expansion.

This  year, the event recorded an impressive turnout of  2,937 participants and 150 exhibitors including farmers, traders, commodity brokers, input companies, machinery and equipment providers, transporters, financial institutions, ICT, Innovations, Poultry and Livestock companies, packaging and processing companies, development practitioners and government agencies, among others; and subsequently clinched  the Agribusiness event of the Year award.

 

Organizers hold  that the showpiece will ultimately help address and find lasting solutions to a myriad of challenges confronting the industry today by assisting farmers and agri-businesses expand their businesses before and after harvest and create an enabling environment for new partnerships to promote the growth of Ghana’s agricultural sector.

 

Initiated in October 2010 in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana by the USAID ADVANCE, the Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference event   allows for further growth, sustainability and expansion. The USAID ADVANCE project has partnered with and subsequently handed over the organization of Pre-Harvest event to Agrihouse Foundation.

Event Structure

For optimum impact, organizers designed event sessions to give participants in-depth insight into the state of the industry today and the opportunities that lie ahead. Commodity Break-out session, Intensive and focused Training Programs, Farmer to Buyer Dialogue, Development Partner Forum are some of the sessions designed for the benefit of participants.

In the same strain, Panel Education sessions revolved around pertinent topics like Climate-smart agricultural approach and practices, Achieving an Innovative integrated food security & nutrition results,  Market accessibility pathway, Production, process and export impact  to Rural development and Food security .

Training Sessions designed to improve that capacity of participants for improved productivity bothered on Warehousing and Storage technologies for post-harvest losses, Basic-to-advanced Financial Literacy education for Farmer Groups, Improving high and quality yields through appropriate production practices, Branding for Marketing Commercial Impact, Going digital to  promote and grow your market, Developing a Business plan and Negotiation Skills .

Other pertinent topics addressed included: How will Ghana’s Agric Sector look like in 2023? What collective role can stakeholders play to change the face of the Agricultural sector, with a focus on input, production, processing, finance, branding, packaging and market accessibility?  , Together, what can Government and Corporate organizations do to support and bridge the gap of pricing and access?, How structured and competitive is Governments projects, subsidy and initiatives impacting on the markets and accessibility?,What Technological Innovations in Agriculture can attract the Modern Youth?,How do we breed the next generation of Agricultural Entrepreneurs? Etc.

There was also a Business-to-Business Matchmaking session, Educational Field Trips, Policy Dialogue: Fertilizer subsidy policy boost / Update on Export for rural development and Exhibitions.

The 9th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference was organized by Agrihouse Foundation A non-governmental agricultural social impact, capacity building, innovation and project management organization with a special focus on changing the perception of, and consciously shaping the conversation on agriculture through the promotion of people-impact initiatives and programs for students, women, farmers, farming associations, agribusinesses and the entire actors within the value chain.

The 9th Preharvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions was collectively sponsored by UKaid, The MADE Programme, Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Kosmos Energy, GCX, Chemico ltd with partnership support from the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, the Northern Development Authority and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.