Ahead of this year’s 12th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions, opening tomorrow Tuesday, October 25, which Yara Ghana is lead sponsor, Mr. Addo-Yobo, said Yara continues to back the leading market linkage event financially and technically, because even after twelve years, Pre-harvest continues to create opportunities for businesses and testimonies for value chain actors who annually participate in the three-day event.
“The Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions has grown over the last 12 years into a valuable event. Yara’s continuous support over the last 12 years has driven the event into its current state of a strong opportunity creation for connecting farmers to buyers as well. We see good progress with the farmers and other partners. The platform has grown into having thousands of market players connecting annually. We have seen farmer groups develop over the years; we have seen testimonies of markets created out of the events, including foreign markets for some local producers. It is one of the contributions making impact, and we need more impact creating opportunities to drive the sector forward,” he stressed.
Beyond Pre-harvest, Mr. Addo-Yobo said Yara is continuously on the ground, involved in actions that combine quality fertilizers with agronomic knowledge to drive quality food production, productivity and farmer profitability.
For instance, “In a rapid response initiative which is aimed at enhancing food security in Ghana, Yara committed $20million to provide 18,000mt of fertilizers to farmers for free in a program called Grow Ghana,” Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo revealed.
The Yara Grow Ghana initiative is a market systems approach which presently supports 170 retailers and distributors. The initiative is targeting to reach about 100,000 farmers, and helping to produce 500,000mt of cereals. The Grow Ghana fertilizers are accessible in a package. An IT tool has been implemented to track and trace with ID cards being a requirement to access the product in the designated retail shops. “Farmers who have worked with us have experienced this. This is driving food production,” he stressed.
He noted that Yara is leading a project on Soyabean, dubbed Sustainable Soyabean Production in Northern Ghana which involves the soyabean value chain partners. The project is driven with funding from NORAD and working with IITA as implementing partners.
Although Yara is not involved directly in marketing food, Mr. Addo-Yobo said, the organizations mission to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet places a responsibility on the team to continue creating more opportunities for value chain actors, including producers and marketers.
“Before the end of 2022, Yara Connect will be implemented to create connectivity for the retail value chain and provide a reward mechanism for retailers,” he revealed. Yara will introduce “Ghana Connect,” as well as the “Grow Ghana initiative,” to participants of this year’s 12th Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions.
Reiterating again the need for collaborations within the agric sector, Mr. Addo-Yobo praised Agrihouse Foundation for working with stakeholders to sustain Pre-harvest, “after 12 years, some sustainable groups and partnerships have been built,” he stressed, “This must continue and explore to adapt as the world changes. Agriculture development would require the full value chain developing and not only an aspect of it, so as an event that brings all value chain partners together for this purpose, it will continue to be relevant for the development of agriculture in Ghana.”
12th Pre-harvest: Connecting the Farmer- the Market – the Buyer
This year’s three (3) day event is on the theme, “Connecting the Unconnected: the Farmer-the Market and the Buyer.” In light of this, the event will focus on improving the market linkages and working with Partners, to identify gaps, and equally agree on a working path, to connect and further strengthen business relationships between actors. Of key priority, is developing a Technical path, where practical sessions and demonstrations, will further educate and connect our farmers to companies, who’s products and services, can support in improving productivity, farm business speed and expansion, whiles ensuring food and nutrition security. At the end of the three days, the event would link actors along the value chain and expose them to Markets; farmers to buyers and vice versa, especially the unconnected Built upon and strengthen existing market linkages Created market for Agricultural related SMEs Equipped farmers and Actors with modern Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to maintain and increase their level of productivity Introduced farmers and Actors to improved or new technologies through the Technical Field Demonstrations.
Key Activities/Sessions to Expect at the 12th Pre-harvest
Exhibitions: In 2021, Pre-harvest recorded over 118 exhibitors. Sectors that participated in the Exhibitions, included; Farmer groups, Input and Seed Dealers, Agric Marketing Experts, Financial Institutions, Brand Specialists, Policy Makers and Influencers, Transporters, Equipment and Machinery Companies, Marketers, Processing and Packaging Companies, Development Partners, Donor Agencies, Corporate Institutions, Aggregators, Buyers, Civil Society, key Government Ministries and Agencies, Industry and Business Leaders, etc. This year, we are expecting a 45% increase in Exhibitor participation
Farmer to Buyer Matchmaking: Over the years, the highlight of the Pre-harvest event has been on the Farmer-Buyer matchmaking event. Farmer groups promote and negotiate for pricing with buyers, and sign contracts for produce supply. Last year, 53 contracts, valued at USD 189,000, was signed, through this session. Some of the Farmer groups who participated in this session, included; Gushegu OB Network, Tamale OB Network, Beinmoni Outgrower Business (OB) NETWORK, Jirapa OB Network, Sissala Area OB Network, Nawuni OB Network, ect. The session connected buyers and aggregators to farmers who produce rice, maize, millet, sorghum, soyabeans, groundnut, yam and tubers, among others. We are expecting, a 65% increase in farmer groups and buyer participation.
Training & Capacity Building Sessions: In sizable groups that enable easy interaction and flow of information, the farmers are taken through topics that increase their knowledge and skills as farmers. Annually, organizations including ADB, YARA, OCP AFRICA and UFCL, have lead training and capacity building discussions, with topics such as: Planning your financial future, Self-presentation and positive mental health; providing finance to meet the needs of farmers, and Going digital- success factors of connecting foreign companies with local agribusiness firms. Others include, appropriate fertilizer application methods for maximum yield, developing a personal brand, creating a niche within the agribusiness, and steps to becoming a sustainable farmer.
Farmer-to-Farmer Apprenticeship Program: this apprenticeship training module provides experienced field representatives the opportunity to run practical and demonstrative training sessions for selected farmer groups, including FBO’s, PWDs and other women-led groups. Through this apprenticeship module, we seek to strengthen both local and commercial farmers, and develop them to practically embrace and manage machines, equipment and agri farm inputs and produce. Beyond enhancing productivity, one key benefit of the session is, it allows for market creation, which leads to growth and sustainability for both farmers and agribusinesses.
Why You Should Participate In the Pre-harvest Event
The annual event ensures that participants obtain the knowledge to new structured and sustainable ways of marketing your products and services. Participants are able to meet, interact, and sign business deals with over 1000 farmers or actors that suits their business, while exhibiting their product or services to a wider audience from all the sectors of agribusiness.
Furthermore, the event creates opportunities for participants to interact with over 100 exhibitors to strike business deals of interest; become updated on national policies and opportunities for all agricultural actors and what holds for the future. Participants also get the opportunity to be of open informal sessions that allow them to interact with other farmers and agri-processors, to network and engage with no speakers or panelists; just an informal interactive discussion.
Participants get an opportunity to interact and hear from agri-experts who provide the solutions to challenges and the opportunities in the sector. They partake in interactive keynote sessions designed to highlight issues and progress and development happening in the agricultural sector.
Even more, participants obtain practical and realistic experiences through real life case studies, while the field demonstrations also help participants to understand and appreciate modern and effective technologies for agricultural productivity. The event also create a platform for participants to meet key decision makers to network and dialogue; obtain self-empowerment lectures that can motivate them to continue growing their agribusinesses and improve their livelihoods.