The success of the local agriculture industry is heavily reliant on the input of industry firms who combine innovation and excellence to great effect.
Through the delivery of cutting-edge services that are tailored to fit the peculiar challenges of the local agric industry, some firms have cemented their place as conspicuous allies of Ghanaian agriculture.
Besides quality products and relevant service delivery, these firms demonstrate admirable responsibility by consistently supporting the industry through ventures that are set-up to serve Corporate Social Responsibility ends.
One of such stand-out firm is YARA Ghana Limited. Yara is a world –renowned firm versed in the production and distribution of mineral fertilizer.
Since venturing into Ghana over a decade ago, Yara has been importing and supplying high quality products for various crop areas such as cereals, vegetables, cocoa, etc.
The company has an expansive nationwide distribution network, which affords her the leverage of offering technical support for farmers signed onto its Yara “Crop Nutrition solutions” initiative.
With a central goal that is hinged on a desire to be a global leader in sustainable agriculture and environmental solutions, the company operates with a wider pool of organizational aspirations, which include being environmentally responsible, and responding to major global challenges, particularly those that directly affect the companies farmer-clients.
As a multinational firm, Yara’s committed to international operational principles is demonstrated by the firms support for the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Companies, the UN Declaration on Human Rights and the OECD Conventions on Combating Bribery.
Commitment to Innovation
Yara’s commitment to entrenching innovation in the local agric sector is laudable. In-fact the company has supported nearly every worthwhile initiative that has sought to place farmers on a better footing since it began operations a decade ago. Yara is always at the fore-front of championing initiatives that have proven vital to the growth and development of agriculture in Ghana.
Besides its partnership efforts, Yara is noted for outdooring brilliant agric concepts of its own that have shown great worth in the crusade to position the agric sector for greatness.
In the last ten years, Yara has been at the fore-front of revolutionizing the fertilizer industry in Ghana by introducing its Crop Nutrition Concept which focuses on crop knowledge, portfolio combinations and application competence. These three pillars are key in helping Ghanaian farmers optimize profitability in a sustainable manner instead of the blanket application of fertilizers which had hitherto been the practice.
According to the firms MD, Mr Danquah Addo-Yobo, “Yara Ghana introduced into the Ghanaian agricultural space, crop specific nutrient solutions that ensured that farmers are able to optimize the use of Yara fertilizer to gain healthier and higher yields in an environmentally sustainable way.”
“We are proud of our achievements and contributions to the agricultural sector in Ghana especially so when we hear the testimonies of farmers including several national award winners who have succeeded in their farming by using our crop nutrition solutions.”
The MD said the company has been supporting women in agriculture and has collaborated with agriculture units of some universities – notably the University of Development Studies in the North, and the University of Ghana, Legon, and also created the platform and supported farmer associations.
“Yara Ghana has been making the results of its yearly research work done together with key agricultural research institutes like Crop Research Institute (CRI), Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) available to other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain through its yearly publication of results of its Trials and Demonstrations,” he said, adding “the results from these research activities have also enabled Yara Ghana to recommend and make available the best quality fertilizer solutions targeted at specific crops as well as provide training for farmers, retailers and distributors on best practices towards enhancing the profitability of the farmer and the value chain.”
A decade of quality delivery
Having recently commemorated the firm’s tenth year anniversary since venturing into Ghana, Yara looks poised for greater things, even as its management seeks increased success on many frontiers.
During one of the primary events to mark the milestone, leadership of Yara noted that the firm had set-out to focus on how Ghanaians farmers will deepen their technical know-how in the application of fertilizers to improve yields and boost food production.
This according to the management of Yara, will go quite some distance to strengthen the quality and depth of input supply and related services, along agricultural value chains to increase the productivity of Ghanaian farmers.
In 2015, Yara partnered academic and research institutions to support agric undergraduate students with requisite expertise by exposing them to market dynamics.
As a core component of the company’s commitment to continued improvement of agric, the measure has since inception gone great lengths to giving support to young people who play critical roles in transforming the country’s largely subsistence agricultural sector into a more robust market economy.
Plans for continued impact
As part of the company’s desire to consolidate its grip on the local agric sector, Yara plans to set up a fertiliser plant in Ghana in the next five years to help produce and supply quality fertiliser at affordable prices to support the country’s budding agricultural sector.
In the interim however, the company has revealed advanced plans to construct a terminal at the Tema Port to expedite the movement of imported fertilizers from the port to farmers in the country’s hinterlands.
Truly indigenous leadership
Having marked ten years of delivering excellent products and services to Ghanaian farmers, Yara has further proved its affinity for Ghana by appointing its first indigenous Managing Director.
In January 2017 Yara appointed Mr Danquah Addo-Yobo as its Managing Director, to help consolidate the company’s already impressive impact in the country.
Before assuming the role, he was the Chief Financial Officer of the company, making him familiar with the company’s working structures.
Before joining Yara in 2014, he had worked with the AP Moller-Maersk Group for 12 years during which period he had extensive cross-functional experience and held Senior roles across different functions in Ghana, Indonesia and in South Africa.
Having held roles such as Financial Controller, Finance and Admin Manager, Africa Regional Business Controller, General Manager in Charge of Customer Service, with the AP Moller-Maersk Group, Mr. Addo-Yobo moved to join Vodafone Ghana as the Financial Controller from where he joined Yara Ghana as the Chief Financial Officer.
Renewed partnership approach
As part of its commitment to ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership with its retail and distribution partners, Yara has recently launched its Channel Partner Programme at Bolgatanga in the Upper-East Region.
The programme according to management of Yara Ghana is a unique programme initiated by the company to provide a number of incentives and support to its key distribution and retail partners in order to help them deliver value-added service and the Yara quality fertilizers to farmers.
Dubbed ‘Partnering for Growth’, some customers have been selected onto the maiden programme, which is expected to become expansive in the years ahead. Through the Channel Partner Programme, Yara hopes that the programme will create an effectual linkage that will guarantee success for its Crop Nutrition distribution system which is ultimately aimed at farmers.
As part of the Channel Partner Programme, Yara has committed to providing close technical and commercial support as well as value selling training for the distribution networks of its key partners who are set to feature prominently in the programme.
About the Writer:
Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa is the Lead Consultant at Agrihouse Communications, the premier data-driven agro Public Relations, Media Relations and Events Management firm. She is also the Founder of Agrihouse Foundation, a non-governmental capacity building organization, with a special focus on agro-based youth mentorship and leadership grooming, agribusiness development through the organization of exhibitions, training programs, research, agri-trade relations and promotions.