Yara appoints first Ghanaian MD …talks about sustainable agriculture

Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo

Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo

Yara Ghana Limited, a leading fertiliser company, has appointed Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo as the Managing Director to lead the vision and mission of the company.

Mr. Addo-Yobo earlier served as the Chief Financial Officer of the company.

A statement issued by the company in Accra said before joining Yara in 2014, he had worked with the AP Moller-Maersk Group for 12 years during which period he had extensive cross functional experience and held senior roles across different functions in Ghana, Indonesia and in South Africa.

Having held roles such as Financial Controller, Finance and Administration Manager, Africa Regional Business Controller, General Manager in Charge of Customer Service, with the AP Moller-Maersk Group, Mr. Addo-Yobo moved to join Vodafone Ghana as the Financial Controller from where he joined Yara Ghana as the Chief Financial Officer.

The statement said his new role would allow him to continue the path of bringing Yara’s knowledge, products and solutions to grow the Ghanaian farmers’ productivity and profitability, while nurturing and protecting the earth’s resources, food and environment, a course which the company has been championing since its establishment in Ghana in 2007.

Smallholder farmers

According to Mr. Addo-Yobo, much of farming in Ghana, like many other African countries is overwhelmingly rural-based smallholder farming and much of Africa’s food security depends on them.

“Yara as a farmer centric company will continue to support smallholder farmers in its operations as has been amply demonstrated over the past years through our several interventions aimed at increasing farmer knowledge, productivity and farmer profitability through the Yara Crop Nutrition Approach,” the new managing director said.

The Yara Crop Nutrition concept combines crop knowledge, product portfolio and application competence to deliver a differentiated and profitable solution to customers and farmers, whilst supporting a sustainable environment. Yara is focused on balancing the increasing intensity of agricultural production with the globally emerging environmental constraints like climate change, deforestation and water scarcity.

This concept has been prosecuted by Yara Ghana over the years through its network of agronomists across Ghana by providing technical support, training programmes and crop clinics for farmers, Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) and dealers in agro-inputs.

“The company intends to continue with this and indeed invest more into it through the recruitment of more agronomists,” Mr. Addo-Yobo said.

Collaboration

He said the company would strengthen its collaboration with research institutions such as the Crop Research Institute of Ghana (CRI), Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI), Oil Palm Research Institute (OPRI), among others, to conduct scientific trials aimed at evolving cost effective crop nutrition solutions and programmes for Ghanaian farmers.

He said Yara recognised the importance of women smallholder farmers in the rural communities and had initiated a programme dubbed – ‘One Step Forward’ – targeted at supporting women small holder farmers. Details of this initiative would be rolled out during the year.

Mr. Addo-Yobo said the company’s interventions in the cocoa sector would be boosted by investing more into its Healthier Cocoa campaigns, which are a series of training programmes, held for cocoa farmers in cocoa growing areas every year on best farming practices to help  improve the yield and quality of cocoa thereby increasing the profitability of the farmer.

He said increasing the farmer profitability in the cocoa sector has been of keen interest to Yara.

On further investments, Mr. Addo-Yobo hinted that Yara is investing in a new terminal which would comprise of warehousing facilities with modern bagging and blending machines.

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