The Ghanaian Farmer Tourism Club (GHAFTC), an agro-tourism club, has partnered Adansi Travels, a travel agency and RwandAir, an international airline provider, to launch an initiative dubbed ‘Agric Exchange’ in Accra.
This forms parts of efforts by GHAFTC to offer travelling opportunities for Ghanaian farmers to deepen their knowledge on modern agricultural practices, as well as cultivate relationships with foreign farmers for business growth.
The joint venture was also intended to create incentives for foreign farmers to travel to Ghana and access opportunities offered by the agricultural sector, boost the local market and to intensify agro-tourism.
The package unveiled included flight, hotel, transport, food, networking sessions, and sight-seeing that would be set at affordable rates.
The group announced that the first trip was scheduled for Rwanda in November, this year.
Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, in his keynote address in Accra on Friday lauded the initiative, saying that any project that targeted the well-being of Ghanaian farmers and offered such opportunities to “enable them compare notes with other counterparts was welcomed.”
He said advancements by government in its Planting for Food and Jobs programme was producing entrepreneurs and wealth in the sector and was encouraging people to pursue agro-tourism.
“A lot of people have ventured into farming because of the potential of Planting for Food and Jobs and this is creating more opportunities in the sector as well as changing its image,” he disclosed.
He urged Ghanaian farmers to partner and access opportunities that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provided to grow their various products.
A farmer and founder of Count on Crops Hub, the agric advocacy firm behind GHAFTC, Enyonam Manye, said travelling would afford and expose Ghanaian farmers to the importance of value addition and the utilisation of post-harvest losses.
“A lot of Ghanaian farmers discard post-harvest losses because they have no knowledge or skill on its benefits. But just travel to Rwanda and you will see how they are utilising post-harvest losses from pear for oil and body lotion. Same in India where post-harvest losses from pawpaw are utilised in the same way.
“When us farmers we travel, it opens our eyes to such innovations and also introduces us to value addition companies and agro-processors to help us grow our business,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Adansi Travels, Gideon Asare, said the constant introduction of new technologies and inventions into farming made it imperative for Ghanaian farmers to travel and witness what was being done elsewhere to improve their practice.
He called on all famers to also register their farms and to open business accounts that was separate from their personal bank accounts.
On his part, Country Manager for RwandAir, Robert Okumu, expressed delight at the partnership saying that as the project sought to improve farming in effect it improved Africa.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU