Agrihouse Foundation has opened its 12th annual pre-harvest agribusiness exhibition and conference to connect people involved in agricultural value chains.
The event, currently underway is taking place at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale with the aim of encouraging business partnerships.
It is in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), and Northern Regional Coordinating Council, with sponsorship from from Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Agricultural Development Bank and GIZ.
The exhibition has the theme: “Connecting the Unconnected – The Farmer, the Buyer and the Market”.
It featured over 100 dealers who exhibited agrochemicals, seeds and farm machinery and inputs.
The three-day event includes commodity break-out sessions for farmers, processors and other participating categories to receive capacity building training.
Miss Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, in her welcome address, said over the years, Agrihouse through the exhibition platform had linked small scale enterprises to buyers at local and international levels.
She said the platform had connected many agriculture value chain actors, generated substantial revenue, and urged participants to use the opportunity to build long lasting relationships with other businesses.
Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, said the Ministry acknowledged that pre-harvest conferences over the years had provided unique platforms for effective communication of plans and programmes.
He said agribusiness had also contributed to the country’s agricultural system, by eliminating gender biases, insecurity and promoting seasonal farming that had transformed and given practical meaning to agriculture in the country.
He stated that MoFA, since 2017, had set out strategic initiatives such as the Planting for Food and Jobs to tackle the fundamentals of agriculture.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, commended Agrihouse Foundation for sustaining the event that connected agricultural stakeholders in the region.
He described the theme as apt and said poor market access during bumper harvest was becoming a major challenge militating against farmers in the country, adding that farmers would be disconnected from their markets if the situation persisted.
He urged stakeholders to invest in improving the state of market channels within the agricultural sector to halt challenges such as post-harvest losses, poor pricing and transportation issues.
Mr Danquah Addo-Yobo, West Africa Regional Director of Yara International encouraged participants to pursue opportunities and take advantage of Yara’s initiatives to grow their businesses.
He noted that as part of the Yara Grow Ghana initiative, the organisation would donate 300 bags of fertilizer each, to women in the Saint Cecilia Cooperative and the Northern Widows Association by the close of the event.
A pre-harvest agribusiness conference and exhibition, on the theme: “Connecting the unconnected: The farmer-the-buyer and the market”, is underway in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The three-day annual event, which is in its 12th year, began last Tuesday. It serves as a platform for the entire agribusiness eco-system in the north to dialogue and exhibit products.
It is being organised by the Agrihouse Foundation, an NGO, in partnership with ECOBANK, Yara International, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC).
Among the participants are fertiliser, irrigation and seed companies; dealers in tractors, machinery and equipment; technology firms, banks and financial institutions; processors, researchers, government institutions and development partners.
A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo, said the government was committed to ensuring a paradigm shift in agriculture from being a way of life to a serious business.
He said the government would continue to place emphasis on adding value to the country’s agricultural produce for export and local consumption to create wealth for farmers and jobs for the teeming youth.
“Agriculture in any form should no longer be constrained or limited by socio-economic, cultural and other factors.
“The ministry has been tackling the fundamentals through the introduction of new policy initiatives and strategies under the Planting for Food and Jobs, our flagship programme,” Mr Addo added.
He commended the organisers of the annual event, saying it set the agenda to reap the full potential in agriculture through the creation of market linkages for actors in the value chain.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akosua Akyea, said the event had, for the past years, become a leading market linkage on the country’s agricultural calendar
It also created opportunities for direct members and partners of the agricultural community to come together through exhibitions, field and practical training and demonstrations, buying and selling, as well as networking, she said.
“I am happy to report that for the past 11 years, Agrihouse and its partners, through this platform, have been connecting and engaging the agricultural sector, linking small-scale farmers and groups to buyers and connecting international agribusinesses to local ones,” she said.
According to her, the conference had recorded about 118 exhibitors, with a 45 per cent increase in exhibitor participation this year, adding that much sale of inputs such as machinery and equipment had been made.
The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, also commended the Agrihouse Foundation for organising the event over the years to connect farmers to various actors in the agricultural value chain.
He said despite the fact that agriculture was the backbone of the country’s economy, accounting for over 74 per cent of northern Ghana’s employment, it was unfortunate that the rich and diverse agricultural potential of the region remained untapped.
Over one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five (1775) value chain actors were recorded yesterday; made of several farmer groups across the districts, farmers with physical disability.
Exhibitors and service providers were made up of aggregators, agric foods processors, input dealers, machinery and transport services providers, ICT, branding and communications experts, extension services providers, among others.
Cutting the ribbon and afterwards touring the exhibition stands in the company of other dignitaries, the Northern Regional Minister expressed satisfaction at the classes of exhibitors and service providers represented, “it is bigger than last year,” he noted.
The three (3) day event continues today with Exhibitions, Farmer-to-Buyer Matchmaking Sessions, Capacity building and Training Sessions and Farmer-to-Farmer Apprenticeship Sessions.
practicalfielddemonstrations #trainingcapacitybuildingsessions #farmerbuyermatchmaking #exhibitions #gizmoap #demeterghanalimited Miss Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong Yara Ghana Yara International USAID – US Agency for International Development
The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu has called on stakeholders to invest intensively towards improving upon the state of market channels in the agricultural sector.
The Regional Minister stated that this will facilitate in combating and terminating agricultural challenges such as poor pricing, post-harvest losses, and mechanization, among others that arise when engaging middlemen in the agricultural market channel.
He reiterated that intensive investment in the market channels will salvage agriculture in the country.
Hon. Alhaji Shani made this call in his address to farmers and stakeholders in the agricultural sector at the 12th Pre-harvest Conference and Exhibition launch in Tamale.
“Now more than ever, we all need to invest in improving upon the state of our market channels within the agricultural sector. In doing so, we tackle and halt challenges including post-harvest losses, poor pricing for our farmers, mechanization and transportation challenges, and concerns that come with dealing with middlemen” He said.
The annual three days conference and exhibition organized by Agrihouse Foundation in partnership with other agribusinesses for the past decade has been a major market linkage event that has created opportunities for members and partners of the agricultural community via exhibitions, field and practical training, demonstrations, buying and selling and networking.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa elaborated that the theme for this year’s conference and exhibition is focused on putting strategic measures in place to ensure that long-term collaborations and partnerships are established among farmers and agribusinesses, build and strengthen existing marketing linkages as well as create markets for agricultural related SMEs.
Madam Alberta explained that this year’s exhibition and conference have matchmaking sessions that will provide farmer-based organizations with platforms to negotiate and sign business deals with aggregators of cereals and legumes.
She disclosed that industrial agro-processors have already purchased huge metric tons of soya beans and maize from farmers at the ongoing exhibition.
“Right here on these grounds, industrial agro-processors have purchased over 14,000 metric tons of soybean and 31,000 metric tons of maize from farmers,” She said.
The Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Yaw Frimpong Addo in his address at the same event commended the efforts of Agrihouse Foundation in improving food security and nutrition across seventeen districts in the Northern Region via their 1 house 1 garden project.
He, therefore, urged more corporate bodies, development partners and local agencies to support the numerous efforts by Agrihouse Foundation to improve agriculture in the country.
The Deputy Minister of food and Agriculture, Mr. Yaw Frimpong Addo says the Agrihouse Foundation has contributed hugely to the Ghanaian systems of Agriculture by eliminating cultural barriers such as gender biases, insecurity and seasonal farming. According to him, the Akufo Addo government is committed to ensure a paradigm shift of Agriculture from a way of life to a serious business and central activity, stating that Agriculture in any form should no longer be constrained or limited by socio economic, cultural, and other factors. “The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, wishers to acknowledge that, Pre-Harvest has provided us a real platform for effective communication of our plans and programs through these years of its existence. Agrihouse Foundation over the years has contributed to the Ghanaian systems of Agriculture by eliminating cultural barriers such as gender biases, insecurity and seasonal farming”. Addressing exhibitors and participants at this year’s Pre-harvest conference in Tamale, he said the Agrichouse foundation has set the agenda to reap the full potential of agriculture by transforming and giving meaning and practical expression to Agriculture. “This is what we at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture have set out to do since 2017. It has been about tackling the fundamentals as taking bold and strategic decisions, through the introduction of new policy initiatives strategies under planting for food and jobs our flagship programme “While sharing in the excitement, it is important to address the laudable objectives of this Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition event. The Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference offers a platform for interaction especially on pertinent issues affecting the agricultural sector. The event serves the purpose of knowledge and information sharing, learning vital lessons from the experiences of others, and striking business deals and acquaintances all geared towards the development of agriculture”. Mr. Yaw said the relationship with the Agrihouse Foundation is grounded in mutual support, and that the annual, Agrihouse conference plays key roles towards the implantation of the National Farmers Day Celebration. “The laudable “1household 1garden” Project is another exceptional example; an interventional project dedicated to improving food security and nutrition across seventeen districts in the Northern region. With support from AGRA and USAID- Feed the Future Program, over two thousand households and some public students have so far received modern training on how start and sustain backyard vegetable gardens in their homes and schools. Such tremendous efforts are commendable, and MOFA is committed to supporting these initiatives. I will urge more corporate bodies, local agencies and development partners to support the incredible efforts of Agrihouse Foundation”. He used the opportunity to acknowledge the USAID ADVANCE Project for handing over the Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions to the Agrihouse Foundation in 2011, as part of its exist strategy. The Cheif Executive officer of the Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyea Akosua said the pre-harvest, over a period of twelve years, has become a leading market linkage event on the country’s agricultural calendar, which annually create opportunity for direct members and partners of the agricultural community to come together through exhibitions, field and practical training and demonstrations, buying and selling, as well as networking. “Rightly so, I am happy to report that for the past eleven years, Agrihouse and partners, through this platform have been connecting and engaging the agric sector; linking small scale farmers and groups to buyers; connecting international agribusinesses to local ones. I am happy to report that from machinery dealers to transport providers; from agric processors, input dealers to ICT, branding and telecommunications service provider; this platform continues to connect the value chain and Pre-harvest has generated an estimated 5 billion USD of businesses for stakeholders in the past eleven (11) years, according to our monitoring and evaluation. Indeed, this is an impressive feat to acknowledge, because I we have come a long way since 2011 when USAID-advance handed over Pre-harvest to Agrihouse as part of their exiting strategy”. She revealed that industrial agro-processors have purchased over 14,000 Metric Tonnes of soybean and 31,000 Metric Tonnes of maize from farmers. “Farmers have been trained by expert facilitators, on how to negotiate deals, expected market demands, pricing and markets accessibility. We are looking forwards to more of such fruitful deliberations and testimonies this year”. Ms. Alberta mentioned that the conference recorded about one hundred and eighteen (118) exhibitors, with a record of forty-five percent (45%) increase in Exhibitor participation this year. “It is important to mention that over GHS32, 420, 745, worth of sales, among input dealers, machinery and equipment dealers have been made as a result of the exhibitions”. The Northern regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu commended Agrihouse Foundation for holding down the fort, and sustaining an impactful interventional event that annually gathers farmer groups, processors and agri-businesses in space that allows them to connect, network, trade, mount exhibitions, share information, ideas and build capacity as agricultural stakeholders in Northern Region in particular and Ghana as a whole. He reiterated firm support, and that of the Regional Coordinating Council towards the self-motivated event that according to him continues to shine bright lights on the Northern region by making it the host region. This year Pre-harvest conference is under the theme; “Connecting the Unconnected: the Farmer-the- Buyer and the Market”. Source: Thenorthernweb.com