The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) has successfully organized its Ghana-Italy Agribusiness Digital Lab to connect Ghanaian agripreneurs to Italian agribusiness giants, who boast world-leading technologies and products capable of transforming agribusiness development in Ghana.
The event came off on June 22 via virtual B2B meetings between the Ghanaian and Italian companies. Over 50 Ghanaian-led agro companies took part in the meetings and received first-hand information about Italian technology and the offerings of Italian agro-based firms in Agricultural Machinery; Cold Chain and Logistics; Seeds, Greenhouse and Irrigation; and Sorting, Processing and Packaging.
Italy is a leader in each of these agribusiness fields, and the Italian companies that met the Ghanaian firms during the Digital Lab are among the most outstanding global brands in these sectors. This gave rise to highly positive feedback from the Ghanaian companies about their interactions, with many expecting to establish long-lasting commercial partnerships with the Italian firms.
Eric Kwabena Agyei, a participant from 3E Farms and Foods, described the Digital Lab as a “gold mine of opportunities” since it enabled his business build the right linkages and partnerships with seasoned agribusiness brands.
He was also impressed with the Italian agricultural machinery and technology that was exhibited, and said he looked forward to solid partnerships that would drive the growth and profitability of his enterprise.
“Last year’s Virtual Macfrut Exhibition opened our business for partnerships, and this virtual B2B meeting is another dimension of opportunities coming. We are grateful to ITA for this initiative,” he said.
According to the ITA, the Digital Lab was conceived in response to requests by Ghanaian entrepreneurs to know more about Italian technology as well as Italian brands that are ready to enter the Ghanaian market.
And true to expectations, the Digital Lab confirmed Italy’s reputation for developing robust and sustainable agricultural technology that suits every climate and context in the world, making a strong case for the adoption of Italian technology to transform and modernize Ghana’s agriculture.
Anthony Morrison, CEO of the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, had this to say about the event: “My general impression was excellent; the Italian partners were very helpful, understanding and supportive. The Digital Lab provided us the opportunity to reach out to more people within a few hours.”
To Sam Zacca of Agrigenix, the Digital Lab was a perfect opportunity to explore business opportunities with international agribusiness brands in an interactive setting.
Highly convinced of the quality and superiority of Italian agro-products and know-how, he called for a dedicated credit facility with favorable terms and conditions to enable local firms purchase Italian equipment and technologies.
“The Italian technologies, products and know-how of the various firms are practical; they are the required type of equipment and technologies for the Ghanaian market,” he added.
Another participant, Prince Israel Akwaaba of the social impact organization Community Agricultural Development (CAD Ghana), identified big prospects for collaborations that will improve the lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians, especially women entrepreneurs in some remote areas of the country.
The Digital Lab, he said, provided the platform for discussions on exploring several technologies and opportunities in the agro extraction industry in Ghana and Italy.
“One of the Italian companies discussed the idea of collaborating with the Italian embassy to set up a small-capacity processing facility to assist the rural women in the northern regions to process shea nuts into unrefined butter for export to Italy. This initiative, if developed, would be able to serve over 5,000 shea butter women entrepreneurs.”
Sharing his thoughts on Italian technology, he said: “The Italian companies have rich experience and the capacity to produce a complete manufacturing line for mixing, processing, thermal procedures and world-class technologies for the food and agro extraction industry. The availability of a technical team, state-of-the-art research, and a development and innovation laboratory for potential clients is an excellent strategy to enable direct consultations between the manufacturer and the client.”
ITA supports the business development of Italian companies abroad whilst attracting foreign direct investments to Italy. With a motivated and modern organization and a widespread network of overseas offices, ITA provides business assistance and training to small and medium-sized Italian businesses using multi-channel promotion and communication tools.
Through the Digital Lab, the agency has facilitated strong connections and linkages that will spawn strategic partnerships between Italian agro-tech innovators and local agribusiness firms to transform the nation’s agricultural landscape.