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: