Countries in West Africa, including Ghana, have not made the best out of agribusiness due to the erroneous impressing that the supply chain starts with the farmer instead of the consumer, an agribusiness expert assessed.
Most farmers in the sub-region have been planting crops without knowing what the market needs and therefore end up with waste produce, Pierre Brunache, Chief Agribusiness Officer at African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) analysed.
In an interview with 3news.com in Accra, Brunache said the lack of knowing what comes first has made many farmers poor.
“What comes first is the consumer; you don’t start farming without knowing what I want to eat, and that is where the problem lies, that is why our farmers are poor. What comes first is knowing whether the market wants sorghum, or soya, or cassava or tomatoes or cocoyam or maize; whether the market wants yellow maize or white, which quality, which standard, that is where you start.
“When you know what the consumer wants to eat, when the consumer wants to eat it and how much the consumer wants to pay for it, how they want it packaged, then you farm it.”
This, the Chief Agribusiness Officer at AFAP explained, among others has necessitated a two-day international conference to be held in Accra from July 10 to 12 this year at the Movenpick Hotel.
The West Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference is the second special collaboration between CRU Events and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership . The aim is to hold a series of forums and discussions on how to realistically improve agriculture in West Africa.
The conference is expected to bring together different technical partners, public sector, policy makers, private sector, financial institutions, ICT experts, youth and women in agribusiness.
“What we want to achieve is more productivity, more prosperity, more partnerships to add premium to local products, to professionalised the fertilizer sector as careers to make sure young men and women will decide to choose agribusiness as an activity, as a sector,” Pierre Brunache stated.
He prayed, “at the end of the conference we want to see that stakeholders and delegates who will participate will put deals to together, deals to inaugurate West Africa, deals to create food productivity, deals with governments, where governments in West Africa will create the enabling environment to allow for productivity to help increase the agriculture sector’s contribution to the national GDP”.
The Chief Agribusiness Officer enumerated the protocol under agribusiness: you can intervene and become a businessman or woman as an agro dealer; equipment service provider; you can become an extension agent; you can work in an agro processing plant; supply chain management company; risk management company; an insurance company, that is providing crop insurance; fast moving consumer company; a supermarket; you can become a caterer, you can create a food business, you can have food trucks, among others.
By Isaac Essel |3news.com| Ghana