Alberta Akosa Founder, Agri-house Foundation

The 11th edition of the Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions, organised by Agrihouse Foundation is set open tomorrow, Tuesday, 19 October, at the Aliu Mamaha Sport Stadium in Tamale, in the Northern Region.

The three (3) days leading Agribusiness market linkage conference and exhibitions event, is on the theme, ‘Working Together to Improve Market Channels for Agri-foods Beyond the Pandemic.”

This year’s event is in collaboration with the Northern Regional Coordinating Council – NRCC, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

Sponsors of the event are YARA, Ecobank Ghana PLC, World Food Programme, ADB-Agricultural Development Bank, GIZ MOAP, Demeter Ghana Limited, United Fertilisers Company Limited (UFCL), and HD PLUS.

Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, has noted that, this year’s event will bring a pool of Agric value chain actors and stakeholders together, to further highlight, explore innovative ways and identify pandemic preparedness solutions, that will contribute to the growth of knowledge in producing good food, providing good food and marketing good food, to strengthen our communities and the nation as a whole, thereby, sustaining markets for agri-foods.

The over thousand participants who have registered to be part of the event will receive training in various capacity building topics that can help them adopt best farming practices to increase their yields and productivity.

She said sessions like the Commodity Breakout Session and Farmer-Buyer Matchmaking Dialogues would connect aggregators and farmers of rice, maize, millet, sorghum, soyabeans, groundnut, yam and tubers, etc to buyers and processing companies that looking to purchase raw materials in large quantities, ahead of the harvest season. Such engagements allow for direct market for the farmers, and halts concerns like post-harvest losses.

She further noted, there would be a showcasing of successful agribusiness modules that has worked, as part of the capacity building sessions; to consciously introduce farmers and stakeholders to successful cases studies of agribusinesses and projects, that they could possibly adopt, as they curve a growth and investment path, for their respective Agribusinesses.

 She said a Gender Workshop, and Agri-Youth Forum would be held respectively, to underscore the efforts of women in the agric space, while highlighting support structures that can be improved or designed to help them scale-up their efforts to build sustainable food systems

The Agri-Youth Forum will be both practical and motivational; a session that will shed light on how today’s Youth, can connect to the future of agriculture, through diverse innovative and creative approaches.  

There will also be the Development Panel conversations, where institutions, including Yara, Ecobank, World Food Programme, GIZ MOAP, ADB, Demeter, UFCL and other Public Units, will deliberate and agree on realistic ways to cooperate and work together, to improve upon and build resilient markets. This panel will deliberate the theme of 2021 pre-harvest, and as part of commitments, raise a call to action that will enable them curve a working pathway, with timeliness to achieve, improve, strengthen and sustain a resilient agri-market.

This year’s Field demonstrations, she stressed, will offer farmers and actors the opportunity to get practical learn, appreciate and adopt best practices in Farm Management.  This will take place at the Agrihouse Foundation AGRI-VILLAGE, a Ten (10) acre land, donated by the Bamvim Lana (Chief of Bamvim).  Companies leading various Training sessions, will setup mini-demonstration fields for a more engaging practical session.

Throughout the three days event a colourful Exhibition will be mounted to make room for the over 1oo exhibitors who have registered to be at the event to display their produce, products and services.  

“This year’s Pre-Harvest event will not come short in playing its role in facilitating farmers and agro-processors to access opportunities to expand their growth potentials and build new partnerships. We have a strong team with the capacity to ensure that,” Ms. Akosa has assured.

Impacts of Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions

Started in October 2010 in Tamale in the Northern Region, by the USAID ADVANCE, the Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference event, was handed over to Agrihouse Foundation, in 2018, in an effort to scale the event up and to allow for more public and private sector participation.

The handing over was also to allow for further growth, sustainability and expansion. Since the handing over in 2018, Agrihouse Foundation, together with Partners have steadily grown the platform, from a day’s event, to a 3-day event.

The Farmer, private, public and stakeholder participation has also increased significantly over the last 3years, making huge impacts, through market linkages, trainings, demonstrations and other capacity building sessions.

Pre-harvest has created and continues to connect, through exhibitions, and training sessions, companies that are into fertilisers, seeds, irrigation, machinery and equipment, finance, transportation, ICT, processors, packagers, marketers, government institutions, development partners, among others. over 90% of companies and participants have been linked to markets through the exhibitions.

Pre-harvest has become a leading event on the Ghanaian agricultural calendar and has served as a stimulating platform for training, and for creating increased stakeholder linkages, exhibitions and expanded opportunities. It operates from a facilitative dimension by presenting a highly engaging and coordinated platform that ensures that smallholder farmers are connected to markets, finance, inputs, equipment, and information.

These activities are geared towards capturing the marketing challenges faced by the actors especially in the pandemic and how other modernised marketing platforms can serve as a solution to maximise the output of the actors along the value chain. Farmers, actors along the value chain and participants will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to observe good agricultural practices.

In 2020, (10th edition), the event recorded a total of 3,122 participants and 122 exhibitors including farmers, traders, commodity brokers, input companies, machinery and equipment providers, transporters, financial institutions, ICT, Innovations, Poultry and Livestock companies, packaging and processing companies, development practitioners and government agencies, among others.

Report on the 2019 event showed that about 70 business deals were made during the Exhibition. More than GHS232, 420, 745 of agri products and equipment were sold and bought. The event has improved the livelihoods of the players along the value chain by boosting their confidence i.e. created a stimulus platform for collaborating with other actors for business deals/increased stakeholders linkages.

It has given agro-processors a strong drive to access their raw materials locally, agribusiness development, grown the local economy through the expansion of agribusiness opportunities and has become a platform of growth for agribusiness entrepreneurs. The event will remain one of the leading events in the country, where farmers, businesses, government and ideas meet to network, build capacity, learn and explore business opportunities, sign deals and close contracts.

In 2018, the event won the Agribusiness event of the Year, for helping to promotes business partnerships among value chain actors, especially farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers, equipment dealers, financial institutions, telecom companies and policy makers. Over the years, through continuous improvement, it has accelerated the transformation of agribusiness in Northern Ghana, alongside Government’s initiatives.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.