Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference launched

The 12th Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibition has been launched in Accra with a call on companies and businesses to take advantage of the programme to showcase their products and services and strike new business deals.

The pre-harvest event was initiated under phase one of the USAID’s ADVANCE project in 2011 as a market linkage activity linking farmers to buyers.

Organised by Agrihouse Foundation, an agribusiness firm, in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council,  the event has since grown to become the leading market linkage platform in the country, and has also lived up to it overall goal, of creating markets and linking farmers to buyers.

Under the sponsorship of Yara Ghana, Demeter, GIZ Market Oriented Agricultural Programme in North-West Ghana (MOAP–NW), this year’s event on the theme “Connecting the Unconnected; The Farmer, the Market and The Buyer,”   is scheduled for October 25-27, 2022, and would be held at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale in the Northern Region.

The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, who made the call said the programme was initiated to create market opportunities for farmers.

“The objective of the programme is to link actors along the value chain and expose them to markets, create further market for agricultural related Small and Medium-scale Enterprises, equip farmers with modern farm agronomic practices and introduce farmers to improved or new technologies through the Technical Field Demonstrations,” she said.

According to her, the programme had been able to generate business deals worth more than $5 million since it was started.

“The event has since grown to become the leading market linkage platform in the country, and has also lived up to it overall goal, of creating markets and linking farmers to buyers,” she said.

The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation indicated that for the past 11 years, the Pre-harvest event, had brought together over 100,000 value chain actors and stakeholders, among whom include farmer groups, buyers, development partners, policy makers, agribusinesses, ICT and aggregators.

 She said input dealers, equipment and machinery dealers, transporters, and financial institutions, telecommunication companies, out growers, civil society and processors actively partook in the programme.

“Last year, over 3000 stakeholders participated in all the 3-day sessions, and survey conducted, indicated a high interest in participation for this year and subsequent years, due to the relevance of the sessions and activities,” she said.

Ms Akosa said “Farmer-based organisations have been linked to aggregators and World Food Programme-assisted industrial agro-processors who have purchased 14,000 metric tonnes of soybean and 31,000 metric tonnes of maize from the farmers.”

Among the programmes outlined for the three-day event, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation included exhibitions, farmer-to-buyer matchmaking, field and training demonstration, training and capacity building sessions and farmer-to-farmer apprenticeship programme.

The Digital Solutions Manager of Yara Ghana, Kwame Okyere in his remarks, said his outfit was excited to be associated with the programme.

He said Yara Ghana was committed to supporting a thriving agricultural industry in the country, particularly, agribusiness.

The Inclusive Business Model Expert of GIZ-MOAP, Reuben Binpori, said the MOAP-NW adopted a holistic value chain approach in building the capacities of various actors such as aggregators, agro-processors, and public-sector actors.

He said the essential facilitation role played by those actors in the development of the agricultural value chain could not be underestimated.

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