AgDevCo has announced that Oba Pack Company Limited, a Ghanaian-owned agribusiness, has purchased the Babator Farming Company Limited (BFC). Prior to the sale, AgDevCo Limited was the sole owner of BFC.
BFC is a 356-hectare irrigated commercial farm developed by AgDevCo from Greenfield. The project was a proof of concept to attract investors to the Babator Irrigated Farming Hub (BIFH), an agricultural concession on the Black Volta River in the Savannah Region of northern Ghana – which could become the country’s largest irrigated farming and processing site once fully developed.
Oba Pack will produce onions for its processing facility at Tuobodom, in the neighbouring Bono Region. The company plans to grow over 7,000 tonnes of onions at BFC for sale in the domestic market, with potential for further expansion. Despite being a staple part of local cuisine, Ghana today imports up to 90% of the onions it consumes.
Oba Pack will also grow soya beans in a sustainable crop rotation to promote good soil health. The soya will be sold to Ghana Nuts Company Limited, a company related to Oba Pack, to be processed into soy cake primarily for the local poultry-feed industry.
BFC already employs 58 staff, of whom half are women in a rural area with very little formal employment. That number is expected to increase as Oba Pack expands. As the BIFH site attracts other commercial investors, there will be further employment opportunities.
Obed Asante, CEO of Oba Pack said: “Our investment in BFC is key to our long-term strategy of vertical integration. BFC enables us to start farming immediately, with secure access to land, machinery and equipment. There is ample year-round irrigation, good road infrastructure, and a strong relationship with local communities developed by AgDevCo”.
Daniel Hulls, CEO of AgDevCo said: “Oba Pack’s investment in BFC is an important milestone for AgDevCo, as it demonstrates investor confidence in BIFH from a leading Ghanaian agribusiness. This investment should help unlock further investment into BIFH to benefit local communities and help commercialise Ghana’s agriculture sector”.
Alongside developing the BFC project, AgDevCo has been planting tree crops (including mangoes, cashew and moringa) at BIFH and promoting smallholder outgrower schemes. There is a community fund that receives a share of revenue from commercial investors operating within the concession. To date, the fund, AgDevCo and BFC have supported a local school, health clinic and a water treatment system.
With a further 5,000 hectares of irrigable farmland available at BIFH, AgDevCo is seeking other commercial investors. As demonstrated through rigorous commercial trials, BIFH is suitable for the production of a wide variety of crops including grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. There is especially high potential for irrigated bananas.