The Market Development (MADE) Programme for Northern Ghana and six of its leading agribusiness partners joined the first Upper West Regional Agribusiness Fair and Conference held in Wa on March 14th and 15th 2019. The two-day event explored agribusiness investment opportunities in the Upper West Region. It was organised by the Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) under the auspices of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council with funding from the European Union and GIZ.
The event provided MADE and its partners the opportunity to showcase their products and services, and share knowledge and lessons as to how agribusinesses can play a leading role in providing a wide range of services including advice to farmers as a strategy to grow their businesses.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Gyiele Nurah, who opened the Agribusiness Fair and Conference urged the people of the Upper West Region to reorient themselves and take farming as a business and not just a tradition. “Taking farming as a business, will help build strong linkages among actors in agribusiness value chains and at the same time increase productivity and market access to neighbouring countries.”
The key activity was a moderated conference which featured panel discussions on infrastructure, agri-finance, marketing, youth and agriculture. Additionally there was an exhibition that showcased innovations, technology and products relevant for promoting market oriented and sustainable agribusinesses in Ghana.
The conference was attended by 170 stakeholders from the agricultural sector. There were also 44 exhibitors comprising agro-input and equipment dealers, farmer-based organisations, aggregators, agro-processors, agricultural service providers, financial institutions and development organisations.
The six MADE agribusiness partners included Kedan Limited, Antika Company Limited, Farmer Pride, Big Ajar as well as Agri-access who are based in the Upper West Region, and Noyine Maltinga from the Upper East Region. Eric Dankwa Kissi, Chief Executive Officer of Kedan Limited participated in the panel discussion on infrastructure while the other partners exhibited their products and services. Kissi stated, “The on-farm advisory services delivered through the MADE Farm Enterprise Advisors’ model enabled my smallholder farmers to produce more maize for processing at my factory in 2018.”
Melanie Amikiya is a MADE partner and Managing Director of Noyine Maltinga, a business engaged in the production and processing of groundnut. Melanie Amikiya exhibited her products at the MADE exhibition booth at the event. Melanie Amikiya said, “The event offered me a lot of learning and networking opportunities. I have been able to sell my products and meet new customers, and also strike a collaborative deal with another female entrepreneur agro-processor to retail my products in the Upper West Region and I will sell her products in the Upper East Region. This is a great opportunity for me to grow my business.”
Samuel Seddoh MADE Team leader added: “This event brought together all the key players including many rural businesses working in the agricultural space in the North of the country. “We had numerous enquiries about how to join the MADE Programme’s agribusiness partners’ network. A network that supports businesses to build relationships and work together to strengthen the overall market and fundamentally increase food production and economic output. With the vast increase in food production in 2018, we must continue to work collaboratively to continue to build market access and sustainability.”