Pre-harvest to increase business and market engagement among value chain actors

Farmers On Demonstratiion Farm

Agrihouse Foundation, a non-governmental agricultural capacity building, innovation and project management organisation, is set to hold the 12th edition of its annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions in the Northern Region.

The annual event, which brought together over 3,000 farmers of maize, rice, soyabean, sorghum, cowpea, groundnut, cashew, vegetables, livestock and value chain actors within the agricultural sector last year, is on the theme, “Connecting the Unconnected: the Farmer-the- Buyer and the Market.”

A statement issued by the Foundation said the three-day “Farmer to Buyer and Agribusiness” market linkage event would take place from Tuesday, October 25 to Thursday, October 27, at the Aliu Mamaha Sports Stadium, in Tamale.

It said the practical training and demonstration sessions, would also take place at the Agrihouse Agri-Village Training, Apprenticeship and Demonstration Centre, in Bamvim.

The statement said the event was an opportunity for them to discuss the production demands, pricing, innovative approaches to boosting farm yields and introduce new agricultural technologies for development.

The Pre-harvest platform, it said, also directly allowed over 70 per cent of participants to take decisive and influential roles in purchasing of products, inputs and equipment, through the exhibitions that run alongside the three day event.

Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of the Foundation, said the platform generated an estimated five billion US dollars of businesses for agribusinesses and value chain actors in the last eleven years.

She said over 3000 participants were recorded last year, resulting in a 15 per cent increase in productivity among various farmer groups, and value chain actors, who patronised the event.

The Executive Director said between 2017 and 2021, the four key areas of the event; Exhibitions, Farmer-to-Buyer Matchmaking, Training and Capacity Building and Field Demonstrations, had seen about 25 to 75 per cent increase in growth and sales among equipment and machinery dealers.

The rest are financial institutions, Information Communication Technology and telecommunication companies.

Ms Akosa noted that farmer based organisations had established relationships with aggregators, while agro-processors purchased over 14,000 and 31,000 metric tonnes of soybean and maize respectively from farmers.

“In 2019, we recorded 70 business deals during the Exhibitions, which resulted in about GHS32, 420, 745, worth of sales, among input dealers, machinery and equipment dealers,” she said.

The Executive Director said amidst the current global challenges, the exhibitions were expected to record a marginable increase.

“Last year recorded 118 exhibitors consisting of farmer groups, inputs, seed dealers, agriculture marketing experts, and financial Institutions. Others included Aggregators, Brand Specialists, transporters, equipment and machinery companies, Processing and packaging companies, Development and Donor Partners, corporate institutions, Civil Society and Government Agencies, ’’ she said.

The Pre-harvest activity line-up include Farmer to Farmer Apprenticeship Session, specifically designed as a technical and practical further learning opportunity; where experienced field representatives run demonstrative training sessions for farmers, farmer groups, including Persons with Disabilities, and other women-led groups.

“Through this new module, we are anticipating that both local and commercial farmers will develop and strengthen their capacities to practically embrace and manage machines, equipment and agri-farm inputs that will enhance their productivity and market growth,” Ms. Akosa said.

Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo, West Africa Regional Director of Yara International Solutions, said Yara had rolled out a number of digital tools and innovative systems to be shared with participants as part of the training and capacity building sessions.

Yara Ghana, lead sponsor for the event, called on more value chain actors and agribusiness in the country to support the upcoming event, while reiterating the need for more digitisation in the agricultural sector as the paramount way to achieve the theme for the event.

Mr Rueben Binpori, Inclusive Business Models Expert, GIZ-MOAP, reiterated their technical and financial support towards the event and outlined a number of agric-related projects through the funding of the European Union in Ghana, which they were implementing across the country to support value chain actors.

Other sponsors of the 12th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference event include Demeter, Ecobank and ADB, with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, as organising Partners.

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