Ahead of the 2019 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), which is scheduled from 3rd – 6th September, 2019, in Accra, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has organized a breakfast meeting to present the AGRF and agribusiness Deal Room opportunity to Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
The Agribusiness Deal Room is expected to drive close to 500 successful connections and meetings between capital seeking enterprises, investors, financial institutions, government institutions, and anchor buyers during the AGRF.
In a keynote address delivered by Mrs. Angela Damson, a director at the Ministry of Agriculture, on behalf of the Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, at the meeting in Accra on Thursday 1st August, 2019, at the Swiss Alisa Hotel, she disclosed that, The world population is estimated to be 7.7 billion this year and will grow to about 10 billion by 2050. We as actors in the agriculture space have a duty to feed and feed well all these consumers now and in the future.”
According to her, the increasing population with diverse sophisticated consumers provides both opportunity and challenges. However, countries needed to brace up to take advantage of the opportunity for the development of their food systems to better the lot of its food producers, consumers and the environment. Adding that, “Countries need to prioritize where to invest time and agricultural transformation with vigor and all seriousness.”
She also noted that, it is in this same vain that the AGRF will provide opportunities where the digitization of Agriculture value chain becomes critical for Ghana’s agriculture, especially, for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses.
Mrs. Damson, however said, “Government is focused on digitalizing value chain financing to create an efficient financial and market transformation to leverage digital payment to suppliers, promote digital loan disbursement and repayment mechanism and as well as enhance access to savings, insurance and credit schemes.”
She emphasized that, the 2019 AGRF theme and objectives fully support and are in line with government’s initiatives, which seeks to allow Ghana to efficiently and sustainably unlock the full potentials of its smallholder farmers and the agribusiness sector.
Also setting the stage on crowding in inclusive private investments in the Ghanaian agribusiness value chain, the Chief Executive Officer of Private Enterprise Federation, Nana Osei Bonsu, indicated that, the private sector plays a key role in the agricultural development which is the backbone of every country’s economy.
He underscored the need for a framework by government, to aid the private sector to effectively serve its purpose in the agriculture value chain.
According to Nana Osei Bonsu, the private sector could significantly thrive and efficiently operate when government provides the enabling environment it needs.
He therefore called on government to formulate policies like the tax incentives, technical support, technical analysis and research which will enable the small holder farmer to operate on a larger scale.
Mr. Foster Kwame Boateng, the coordinator of AGRA West Africa, disclosed that, within the ten years the programme has run , AGRA and its partners have made much investments in the areas of supporting seed production, access to fertilizer for smallholder farmers, access to finance to smallholder farmers, which enabled farmers to double their yield.
“But that alone cannot transform agriculture. We need to go beyond that, and we need to sustain it so we decided to chart a new course and learnt some lessons and realized that, we should rally partners, because in the agriculture sector, there are a lot of players. There is government, there is private sector, civil society and even the media. So we thought that, this is the time to organize this kind of annual forum to pull partners together to see how best we can make a great impact for Africa’s agriculture,” he emphasized.