The 2019 Pre-Season Agribusiness Networking and Exhibition Forum held in Tamale on April 4, 2019 offered the Market Development (MADE) Programme for Northern Ghana and 10 of its leading agribusiness partners another platform to share lessons and showcase the successes of the market systems development approach.
The 9th annual pre-season event provided a platform for actors in the agricultural value chain including MADE partners to learn and share ideas, explore market opportunities and plan towards the coming production season. The event was organised through the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG), in collaboration with the Northern Development Authority, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and The National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana.
The event was attended by 300 stakeholders including input dealers, farmers, agricultural service providers, aggregators, agro-processers, research institutions, development partners, public institutions and civil society organisations. Discussions focused on access to and use of quality seeds and fertiliser, land preparation and application of good agricultural practices, all essential for a successful farming season.
The President of NASTAG, Thomas Winfred Havor said in his welcome speech, “The success of the government’s planting for food and jobs programme will depend largely on the quality of seed farmers’ plant on their fields. There should be stronger collaboration between government and seed producers to increase farmers’ access to certified seeds.”
MADE and its 10 partners from the Northern, Bono East, Upper East and Upper West regions participated in the event and exhibited improved seeds for vegetables, maize, groundnut, soya bean and rice production as well as processed groundnut, rice, maize and soya bean products.
Humphrey Kanton, Sales Officer of Farmer Pride, a MADE partner who exhibited certified seeds at the event commented, “I have made a lot of contacts and already received orders ahead of this production season for my seed varieties, the MADE programme has opened doors for me and my business.”
Pamela C. Bowen, MADE Deputy Team leader represented the Programme at the event. MADE Market Development Specialists, Hilda Abambire and Jonathan Yelevielbayira, identified nine support enterprises that were not already working with MADE for collaboration.
Dr. Sagre Bambangi, Deputy Agriculture Minister who opened the event stated, “The Government of Ghana will through the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme as well as the One Village, One Dam Policy, create an enabling environment for farmers to boost production.”
The Minister who later visited the MADE booth was briefed on the innovative business models implemented by MADE through partnerships and how these models have enabled rural agribusinesses and smallholder farmers to increase productivity and boost economic output.
The Minister commended MADE for the work done in the agricultural markets and for introducing sustainable business models that are making an impact.”