March 2, 2018

GEPA Deputy CEO Participates in Canada – Ghana Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting

The Canada – Ghana Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast meeting on Wednesday 28th February, 2018 to deliberate on investment opportunities in the agribusiness sector in Ghana. The theme for the meeting was “Investing in Agribusiness”.

Actors in the sector spoke on pertinent issues affecting the value chains of most agribusiness products. In his intervention, Mr. Alexander Dadzawa a Director at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) who represented the Deputy CEO at the meeting said the Authority, under the leadership of Hon. Gifty Klenam, the current CEO has committed material and human resources into key areas of the agricultural sector. Notably, he mentioned the provision of quality planting materials to farmers, the training of producers as well as disease control actions that the Authority has already begun implementing. His delivery also touched on the establishment of Ghana EXIM Bank and its mandate. He said that export oriented companies, including those in the agribusiness sector, can access funding from the Bank at concessionary rates as long as they meet the Bank’s minimum criteria.

Mr. Dadzawa further reminded the gathering of Government’s initiatives such as the 1 District 1 Factory (1D1F), 1 District 1 Dam (1D1 Dam) and “Planting for Food and Jobs” which create the good conditions for private sector operators, including the rural producers and processors to take advantage of to increase production and add value to the crops across board.

The main speaker at the meeting, Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) said there is a lot more focus on agriculture now with regards to the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme. Mr Grant said one of the reasons that make agriculture unattractive to young people was that there were no role models in the sector to inspire them.

He said the perceived risk involved and cost of financing were also among major challenges in the sector, therefore there was the need for various interventions that will de-risk the sector.

Other speakers, including Mr. Davies Korboe, the CEO of Cotton Weblink Portfolio Ghana Ltd and Mr. Jeremy Agyemang – Head of Agribusiness Unit, Ministry of Food and Agriculture highlighted some key challenges that militate against the agribusiness sector. Some of the key issues highlighted during the interactive session include financing gap due to high interest rates and absence of medium to long term funding, inadequate infrastructure support, inability to attract the youth into the sector, low yield of most crops, low productivity of most farms and post-harvest losses. They called for Government assistance to address these constraints to enable the sector contribute its quota to national development.

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