The agricultural sector, like all others in the country cannot develop and thrive without the socio-economic support of stakeholders. Stakeholders within the value chain significantly contribute to farmers’ access to farming inputs and financing. They contribute to the up-skilling of extension staff, thus enhancing the quality of improved and relevant agricultural technologies to farmers; in all making tangible impacts in ways such as, increased capacity, increased productivity, increased economic growth and options for improved policies.
The United Fertilizer Company Limited has over the years, proven itself as one of such relevant stakeholders in the agric sector, both in Europe and within the African Sub-regions; providing farmers and agribusinesses with quality fertilizer products that ensure maximum yields during harvest.
This year, the company aligned itself with Agrihouse Foundations’ annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions Event, as both a Sponsor and Exhibitor, with the aim of firming up and strategically ground its presence within the country’s agric market; to introduce its new fertilizer products to more farmers and distributors. In line with this, UFCL facilitated a Field Demonstration and a Capacity Building session that introduced farmers and value chain actors with best practices, encouraging them to adopt reliable practices and appropriate application modules that guarantee them maximum yield during harvest. Even more, this Business-to-Business session they had with the farmer groups provided an opportunity for UFCL, to share their products and service offerings with farmers and other agribusiness entrepreneurs.
The Marketing Director of United Fertilizer Company Limited, Maksim Poltoradnev, noted that, the sessions also provided the company opportunity to obtain feedback from participants on their business needs, and how they can better respond to them.
In line with UFCL being the newly founded agro-inputs distributor in Africa, he said, the initiative group of Russian origin companies URALCHEM and Uralkali are the founders of the organization; both well known on the international mineral fertilizer market. Currently, according to Mr. Maksim Poltoradnev, URALCHEM is the leading Russian producer of nitrogen-based fertilizers, while Uralkali is one of the major global potash manufacturers. “URALCHEM, Uralkali and UFCL share the same business philosophy: provide customers and crop growers with the best plant nutrients and comprehensive plant nutrition knowledge available,” he emphasized. He said fertilizers manufactured and distributed by the three corporations, are subjected to strict quality control at all stages of production, storage and delivery; and furthermore undergo advanced technology, modern packaging and logistics solutions, as part of the manufacturing processes.
UFCL INTRODUCES THREE NEW FERTILIZERS AT 11TH PRE-HARVEST
According to Mr. Maksim Poltoradnev, farmers, processors, and value chain actors who will participated in this year’s field demonstrations at the 11th Pre-harvest event, had an opportunity to experience the efficacy of their new fertilizer products. The new products, which are gradually making rounds on the Ghanaian market, include NPK 27:6:6, NPK 21:10:10, and the uniquely designed potassium containing fertilizers, NPK 10:26:26 and MOP.
He said farmer’s who participated in the practical field demonstrations were taught how to make efficient use of their new fertilizers, and essentially, how to include potassium chloride in their fertilization plans, experiment with it and observe the positive results. Furthermore, participants were enlightened about the company’s educational programs and the strategic plans the company has in place, to invest in capacity-building, empowerment and support for Ghanaian farmers and agribusinesses. “This year, UFCL is on its way to reaching more than 2000 farmers in Africa; collaborating with leading agricultural research institutions to establish field trials and educational lectures that demonstrate and explain the effects of balanced crop nutrition to frontlines and major stakeholders of agricultural sector,” he revealed. “Since decades, our products are present in Africa, and now UFCL provides the unique opportunity to get fertilizers “made in Russia” originally from the manufacturer,” he added.
He further noted that the comprehensive product line, well established supply route and quality control continuously makes UFCL a reliable partner to all stakeholders within the agricultural sector. Beyond producing and distributing high-quality fertilizers, across Europe and parts of Africa, UFCL focuses on providing value-added services that contribute to the expansion of practical knowledge, economic and environmental conditions.
The company is actively involved in developing decisions that support systems based on agronomical knowledge, computer simulations and research results. One of such digital products, essentially, helps farmers to determine potential yield and crop nutrient demand based on geospatial location, soil chemical composition and climatic zone by simply navigating to the point of interest on the map.
As it stands now, United Fertilizer Company Limited exclusively represents two Russian Fertilizer Manufacturers in Africa: Uralkali, is one of the major global potash manufacturers, and Uralchem, is the leading producer of nitrogen-based fertilizers and compound NPKs. The range of fertilizer products include: Straight Fertilizers, Compound Fertilizers, Design your own NPK, Bulk Blends, Water-Soluble Fertilizers, and Foliar Fertilizers.
The Straight Fertilizers: they have primarily supply only plant nutrient. UFCL provides a range including, Nitrogen Fertilizers, Phosphate Fertilizers, and Potash Fertilizers. Nitrogen Fertilizers consist of, Urea, Ammonium Nitrate (AN), Stabilized Ammonium Nitrate (SAN), Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate with Sulphur (CNS). The Phosphate Fertilizer is made up of Monoammonium Phosphate, and the Potash Fertilizers consist of MOP Pink Granular, MOP Pink Standard, and MOP White Standard.
The Compound Fertilizers: they contain at least three major plant nutrients, mostly serving as one-stop shop solutions for customers. They have readily available nitrogen and supplementary phosphorus, potassium and sulphur in each granule, and are suitable for all soil types and crops. Particularly efficient for vegetables, cereals, tubers and fodder-crops, tea, grasslands, cereals, fodder-crops and potatoes. The range of fertilizers in this group include NPK Building Blocks, NPK 10:26:26, NPK 10:20:20, NPK 27:6:6, NPK 21:10:10, NPK 22:7:12, NPK 24:6:12, and NPK 8:20:30.
The Design your own NPK: this brand also provides customers with a one-stop shop solution of specific two-component fertilizer bulk blends, as well as for direct application based on crop demand and soil analysis. NPK 17:17:17, NPK 14:18:18, NPK 5:5:45, NPK 2:20:20, NPK 20:4:20 – are all correctly balanced fertilizers from the company’s product range.
The Bulk Blends: this fertilizer type is a physical mixture of several monocomponent (straight) fertilizers. Blending technique helps to tailor chemical composition of final NPK product according to specific requirements, dictated by the soil, crop, technical preferences, etc. We are flexible to produce any type of NPK blends such as but not limited to well-known grades NPK 10:20:10 (D-compound), NPK 7:14:7, NPK 6:23:23, NPK 10:20:20 and any other upon your request. We use only best quality raw materials of international standards.
The Water-soluble fertilizers: They are readily dissolved in water. Because they are easily broken down, they are fast-acting, thus, plants will have an immediate boost in nutrients. They reduce over-fertilization, as water-soluble fertilizers can be applied more frequently. UFCL’s list of Water-soluble fertilizers include, Calcium Nitrate concentrated, Calcium Nitrate concentrated with Magnesium, Potassium Nitrate, Monoammonium Phosphate, and Urea Micro Prills.
The Foliar Fertilizers: they have been designed to be applied directly to the leaves of a plant. Plants are therefore able to absorb essential elements through their leaves. The absorption takes place through their stomata and also through their epidermis. Solar NPK Micro Starter, Solar NPK Micro Universal, and Solar NPK Micro Final are all Foliar Fertilizers designed by UCFL.
Drip Irrigation Fertilizers: they are also known as Fertigation, a method of fertilizer application in which fertilizer is incorporated within the irrigation water by the drip system. In this system fertilizer, solution is distributed evenly in irrigation, therefore efficiency is very high. Aqua Drop and Drip Kali are two Drip Irrigation Fertilizers produced and distributed by UFCL.
11th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions
The 3-days leading market linkage event opened on Tuesday, October 19th, and run until Thursday, October 21. The edition, which is on theme “Working Together to Improve Market Channels for Agri-foods Beyond the Pandemic,” took place at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium, in Tamale in the Northern region. This year’s event was in collaboration with the Northern Regional Coordinating Council – NRCC, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). Sponsors of the event were YARA, Ecobank Ghana PLC, World Food Programme, ADB-Agricultural Development Bank, GIZ MOAP, Demeter Ghana Limited, United Fertilizers Company Limited (UFCL), and HD PLUS.
The leading agribusiness market linkage conference and exhibitions event, featured major training and capacity session, such as, commodity breakout session, farmer-buyer matchmaking dialogues, showcasing successful agribusiness modules, exhibitions, agri-youth forum, gender workshop, development partner panel conversation, and practical field demonstrations exercises. The event furthermore highlighted and address the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified within the sector, the effects it has posed on marketing Agri-foods, while exploring existing market channels to address these challenges.
A key highlight of the 3-day event was the Field demonstrations, where farmers and actors get to practically learn, appreciate and adopt best practices in Farm Management. This took 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 setup mini-demonstration fields for a more engaging practical session.
In the short to long term, the Agrihouse Foundation Agri-village is expected to house different type of farms (including seeds and Livestock Farms), Demonstration Centres, Conference / Workshop halls, Restrooms, Exhibition stores for Agric Companies, Training and Recreational Centres, Storage space, Processing Centres, Production room, Laboratories and Research Centres.
IMPACTS OF PRE-HARVEST OVER THE YEARS
Pre-harvest has created and continues to connect, through exhibitions, and training sessions, companies that are into fertilizers, 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 modernized marketing platforms can serve as a solution to maximize 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.
This year’s 3-days event (2021 11th edition) recorded 118 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. It made room for 3200 Participants; 32 FBO’s from different regions and districts who represented over 300, 000 farmers of rice, maize, soyabeans, sorghum, millet, groundnut, vegetables, yam and tubers, etc. A total of 46 buyers negotiated and signed deals with farmers.
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.