With a central vision that is hinged largely on driving farmer productivity and profitability through tailor-made crop nutrition solutions, Yara remains a conspicuous player in the local agric industry.

 Besides being a leader in crop nutrition, Yara operates with an even broader pool of organizational aspirations, which include being environmentally responsible, and responding to major global challenges, particularly those that directly affect the companies farmer-clients.

At the recently concluded 9th Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference Event held in Tamale from September 25th -27th 2019, Danquah Addo-Yobo, West Africa Regional Director, Yara International delivered a  key note address that touched on a multiplicity of issues from the ambitions of the firm to the importance of the Annual Pre-harvest conference and Exhibitions platform.

In the introductory part of his speech, he revealed the motivation for Yara’s continued association with the annual event and pointed out the relevance of this year’s theme.

 “For Yara it is a privilege for us to be part of this event, one that we have supported over the years.

The theme, ‘Market Accessibility: The Structured and Sustainable Pathway’ is very relevant for the sustainable growth and development of the agriculture sector of the country.

Market does not only refer to where to sell the product. Market in should include who wants the product and in which form, where and when. That can influence the inputs and farming practices the farmer need to adopt to ensure that the farmer is producing to meet a need and not producing to hopefully find a market after production.

One of the values of Yara is collaboration – we believe in working together with other value chain partners to bring value to the farmer and the agric sector in general.

Yara drives farmer productivity and profitability through our tried and tested crop nutrition solutions backed by strong agronomic research and knowledge transfer.

Without a deliberate market for the agriculture production, one cannot create a structured and sustainable pathway for our nation’s agriculture development.

This event brings together all partners in the agriculture value chain, including creating market accessibility opportunities for farmers and all players in the value chain.”

The company used the Pre-harvest platform to launch yet another quality product that promises to make impact-just like many others from the stables of Yara.

“We take this opportunity to outdoor our new foliar fertilizer, YaraVita Crop Lift Bio, which contains the full range of NPK’S as well as several micronutrients that help boost yields and revitalize the crop during periods of stress. This foliar fertilizer is easy to absorb through the leaves and it tank mixable with several agrochemicals, aside weedicides and herbicides, to make treatment easier and more convenient.

Without access to structured deliberate markets, many players in the agriculture value chain will be losers in the long term as any gains made will be short term and not sustainable in the long term.”

Since venturing into Ghana over a decade ago, Yara has established itself as a leader in the formulation and supply of high quality products for various crop areas such as cereals, vegetables, cocoa, etc.

The company has an expansive nationwide distribution network, which affords her the leverage of offering technical support for farmers signed onto its Yara “Crop Nutrition solutions” initiative.

With an institutional policy that partly hinges on strategic expansion, the company recently demonstrated its resolve to strengthen its base in Ghana by inaugurating a state-of –the-art fertiliser terminal and blending facility in Tema.

The $15 million investment, by Yara International ASA has a storage capacity of over 50,000 tonnes and a blending and bagging production rate of more than 100 tonnes per hour. The company hopes the facility would facilitate the ready supply and availability of premium crop nutrition solutions to Ghanaian farmers, enable increased productivity and significantly improve livelihoods.

 

Background

The Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition is deliberately designed to coincide with the pre-harvest period when farmers and other value chain actors are readying for the dynamics of the harvest season.

The platform presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders as it helps them to identify and take advantage of the stream of prospects offered by the local agricultural sector.

Just like last year, the event took a three-day dimension; with organizer’s 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 experienced 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.

The event drew key actors in the various sectors of the agricultural value chain such as farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers, equipment dealers, and financial institutions, policy makers among others to interact and share knowledge.

Similarly government officials, international donor organizations, the Diplomatic Community among others took advantage of the event to promote knowledge exchange and incite a renewed drive for exploring   practical ways through which the sector could become more attractive and profitable for industry players.

Event Basis

The Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference is an interventional medium that offers practical prospects for value chain actors to meet, discuss business, contracts and work together as a coherent team 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 also provides 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 can be assessed.

 Partakers of the event equally benefitted from applied and engaging sessions designed to encourage deeper insights into best practices and how to take the most of the prevalent opportunities in the agric sector for progress and increase.

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 hope  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.

 

Introduced 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.