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Business News of Friday, 27 September 2019

Source: Stephen Armah

9th annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness conference to increase prospects for good yield

Some speakers at the event Some speakers at the event

The ongoing 9th annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness conference and exhibitors event is seeking to increase prospects for good yields and good agribusinesses.

The event is organized by Agrihouse foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Northern Regional Coordinating Council, Northern Development Authority, Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Kosmos Energy, the Made Programme and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ADVANCE with the theme; Market Accessibility: The Structured and Sustainable Pathway, in Tamale at Aliu Mahama Stadium from 25th-27th September 2019.

The event is hosting not less than 3000 farmers, value chain actors, and agribusiness owners not from Ghana alone but across Africa and the World at large.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony by the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, Hon. Gyiele Nurah, recommended the event as an important annual national agriculture event ever witnessed.

He expressed how Pre-Harvest event has contributed to the realization of a collective dream for increasing agricultural productivity and achieving food security.

“Within the 9 years this event was added to our national strategic efforts to develop agribusiness, the Pre-Harvest event has made its own significant contributions to what we have achieved so far, especially the perceptible turn-around we are experiencing in recent time in the northern regions”, he noted.

According to the Minister, Pre-Harvest event in its unique congregation of farmers, buyers, producers, transporters, inputs dealers, equipment dealers, financial institutions, telecom companies, policy makers, financial facilitators and others is to ensure that multiple solution to challenges are inevitably made available in the way of providing information, business opportunities, networking, access to the latest machines or tool at competitive prices, and a host of opportunities.

Adding a voice to this remarkable event, the ambassador for the Kingdom of Netherlands to Ghana, H.E, Ron Strikker lauded the Pre-Harvest event to underline the potential of the Northern region because the region is the breadbasket of Ghana in that, Northern region has almost all the necessary ingredients to drive the changes Ghana needs in Agriculture its being vast arable land, water for irrigation, animal production, and people to make agriculture a success. Therefore, the Pre-Harvest event in Tamale would drive towards the achievement of proposed transformation in the Agric sector.

He advised the farmers to transform their subsistence system of farming to market driven. “For transformation, I think the starting point should be that farming should be market driven, modernized and be seen as business, through such transformation agriculture would be lucrative to the youth”, he advised.

The National Best Farmer 2018, Mr. James Obeng, succinctly outlined some challenges glaring farmers especially those at the Northern region. According to him, market accessibility is a sure bet if agriculture and agribusiness can contribute its quota to the development of the nation.

The challenges he noted include but not limited to poor roads, climate change, market accessibility and others.

He lauded the year’s theme and how it will go a long way to address one of the worse challenges farmers are facing, market accessibility. He acclaimed the government for its timeless efforts in catapulting the agricultural space through government interventions, sensitization programs, just to mention a few.

Nonetheless, he prayed that there is so much to be desired at how the painstaking produces by farmers can be marketed with ease. He ended by saying it is possible we can do it since others have done it and by taken part in the event such as Pre-Harvest event these issues could be alleviated.

In a welcoming address delivered by the Executive Director, Agrihouse foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa explained the expectation of this year’s Pre-Harvest event of combination of training programmes, field demonstration, panel discussion, business promotion and unique networking opportunities through conference and other interactive side-events.

she espoused how right platforms have been created for stakeholders, agribusiness owners, farmers, brand experts, development partners, government agencies, corporate entities and media interaction to exchange knowledge and gain insights to backpedaling latching onto an effective structured and sustainable market in a unit with global development.

The advent of technology is doing remarkable improvement in the Agric space. Unequivocally, Agriculture and technology are Siamese twins now. Thus, the need to incorporate technology in agricultural activities cannot be overlooked since they go hand in hand. It was for a good reason Agrihouse also thought in that direction.

The Executive Director unveiled a new technological invention which would offer farmers and processors an additional avenue to market their products called Agrihouse Market Link. According to her, the platform would expound the farmer’s produce which would link them to the respective markets giving leverage to smallholder farmers.

She expressed her gratitude to all the sponsors, exhibitors and the sponsors for making this year’s event a reality.

Amongst the dignitaries present at the august event were: the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, Hon. Gyiele Nurah, the Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Salifu Saeed, the Kingdom of Netherlands to Ghana, H.E, Ron Strikker, the National Best Farmer 2018, Mr. James Obeng, Mr. Joe Mensah (Vice president and country Manager, Kosmos Energy), Mr. Dan Sackey(Managing Director, Ecobank Ghana Limited), Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo(Regional Director, West Africa for Yara International), Mrs. Pamela C. Bowen(Country Lead, Made programme), Chiefs and many more.