Agrihouse Foundation holds 9th monthly Agriwoman marketplace

Agrihouse Foundation holds 9th monthly Agriwoman marketplace

Agrihouse Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that focuses on agriculture production, has held the 9th edition of its Agriwoman Marketplace in Accra.

The two-day event was under the theme ‘Promoting Local Agribusiness Brands Started by Women’, and brought together women who are into food processing, cosmetics production and other small-scale businesses at one place to exhibit their products, and also network among themselves.

Executive Director-Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said this initiative is to help support women position their brands on a higher pedestal. She added further that it is also part of their social responsibility to society to help showcase products from the women to bigger markets, especially in this yuletide season.

“We are out, basically, because we are getting closer to the festive season. We want to contribute in projecting activities of women in the sector. It is part of our social responsibility, that’s why it is fully funded by us. We set out nine months ago to support ourselves, position our brands, project them and seek immediate, short- and long-term marketing avenues and channels. The feedback has been good. We are hoping we will be able to sustain this initiative,” she said.

FDA rolls out 3-year licencing scheme for MSMEs

A representative from the Agro-products and Biosafety Department of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Nana Akua Yeboah, speaking at the event said the authority has introduced a programme dubbed the ‘Progressive Licencing Scheme’ to assist Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who are in food and cosmetic production to acquire the requisite licence for their products.

She explained that this initiative has become necessary because of high regulatory cost and negative perceptions about the FDA.

“We have introduced a programme called the Progressive Licencing Scheme for cottage and small scale industries. There are some people who are producing very wonderful products – but because of high regulatory cost and the perception they have about FDA, they are afraid to approach us. We have provided this scheme to help cottage industries – whether it is cosmetics, whether it is food – for you to come on board no matter what level you are at. We are providing you with the minimal basic requirements and helping you grow.

“It’s a three-year programme wherein we nurture you. So, for the first year, we give you the pink certificate – for the first year we help you meet the basic requirements, documentation and over the next few years, we help you to stand on your feet.  You are then able to register your products and have them on the shelves of big grocery shops across the country.”

On the necessary requirement for an MSME to qualify for the programme, Ms. Yeboah said it must have a neat and nice working space devoid of external interference – adding that the FDA client service department is in charge of assisting MSMEs to access the programme.

“For facilities, we always encourage that we have our offices open to you. We have the client service who will assist you.  The requirements are a facility; it may not be a big one, but you should designate a room in your house for your processes. You should make it such that it doesn’t interfere with your household activities. All you need is to have a neat place,” she added.

The Greater Accra Regional Director of Agriculture, Eric Hudson Asamani, on his part was praiseful of Agrihouse for their tremendous work toward growth of the Agricultural food chain through assisting women in agriculture to market their wares.

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