Developing Ghana’s agriculture requires a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model rather than a full-scale government-led and owned agenda, experts at MBC Africa – an agric-focused civil society organisation, have said.
“The community-led approach which evolves into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model is the best way forward. This means the legal entity created should include all the stakeholders and the community will get jobs and income, and can use its dividends to do whatever they want,” Tenemba Anna Samaké, CEO of MBC Africa, told the B&FT ahead of the 2018 edition of MBC’s ‘Growing Business Together’ (GBT)’ programme, a start-up accelerator designed for SMEs.
“Government, local and national, will get taxes and the financiers or private investors can equally reap profits from the business or enterprise,” she said.
Land acquisition for large-scale agriculture has become a challenge for many commercial farmers in Ghana and Africa. Lands Commission data show that 80percent of lands in Ghana are customary lands, which are owned by traditional authorities, families or clans. The remaining 20 percent is vested in or owned by government.
Due to the complexities of these customary lands’ ownership, farming on thousands of hectares of land is difficult. But Ms. Samaké explained that with a PPP approach accessing land for large-scale farms becomes easier and agriculture will return to its position as the economy’s backbone.
“If we really want agriculture to deliver on its potential, we have to tackle the land issue. Government has tried to establish some kind of law, but we always forget that most of our lives are governed by customs. I think one of the best ways to solve this issue is by using customs to make land available for those who need to use it. For that, you have to work along with the chiefs,” she pointed out.
Fred Asem, Country Director of MBC Africa, noted that MBC Africa has already worked with chiefs and people in the Akuapim South district in the Eastern Region to make large tracts of land available for agricultural purposes, by involving all the relevant stakeholders from the beginning.
“In Akuapim South what we did was to get all stakeholders together, including the Chief, and open up to them about empowerment of youth and women and the economic benefits the projects will bring, and so they should give us land. We went with financers, input suppliers and business development experts. All the industry players were made available in that roundtable discussion.
“It was brought out as a PPP, and that is why it succeeded. When it becomes a government-owned project the notion changes; but if we have industry players in the private sector who want to make an impact come along, then it will take-off,” he explained.
The ‘Growing Business Together’ (GBT) programme includes mentorship and business development training that helps entrepreneurs in the SME space to put in place good principles, practices and procedures for business growth and sustainability.
The GBT programme will be climaxed with an Investor’s Conference that will attract approximately 400 to 500 students as well as 150 entrepreneurs in fashion, processing, manufacturing, services, farming, and production.
It will also be attended by 20 representatives from financial institutions, 20 representatives from funding institutions and 10 media personnel. The Conference will be held at (UPSA) Campus – Accra, on Friday 19th October 2018.
The Conference is organised by MBC Africa in collaboration with The Royal Netherlands Embassy Ghana and Truvalu Startups.
The Conference is on the theme ‘Are you ready for my money?,’ and promises to provide an annual platform for a cohort of 20 young Ghanaian entrepreneurs and enablers to network and share knowledge, among other benefits.
MBC Africa, which operates in Ghana, Cote D’ivoire and Mali, provides an enabling environment for agribusinesses in Africa by integrating the business services they need to grow onto one single platform. MBC Africa’s role is to identify, nurture and develop a critical mass of viable growth-oriented agribusinesses as a pipeline for sustainable and impactful investment in selected African economies.
Please join us for The GBT Start-up Investor Conference: http://growingbusinesstogether.org/index.php/gbt-events/gbt-start-up-investor-conference/. Check out http://growingbusinesstogether.org/