Since the first recorded case of COVID-19 in China in November 2019 and its consequent spread across the world in the first quarter of 2020, the pandemic has visited severe hardship on key industries.
In Ghana, the local economy and key industries that support it suffered greatly. Particularly, the agriculture sector which is arguably the most important support base for the economy came to a near-halt at the height of the pandemic, prompting copious job losses and price hikes for food.
Indeed, the government estimated a slump in projected GDP growth for 2020 at 2.6 per cent, which is significantly lower than the budgeted GDP growth of 6.8 per cent for the year.
Having endured a dreary couple of months, Ghana like most countries around the world, have reported a sharp dwindle in the number of fresh infections of Covid -19, leaving industry leaders with the arduous task of reviving key areas of the economy that are ailing due to disruptions caused by the fallout of the pandemic.
To support efforts to revive the agriculture, Agri-house Foundation will hold the 10th edition of the annual Pre-Harvest Conference and Exhibitions in the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale from 7th -8th October 2020.
Being the 10th anniversary this year, the thematic emphasis will be on exploring solutions for transformation of the industry in view of the uncertainties created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Participants are guaranteed opportune interaction with players and counterparts from every sector in the agric value chain, small and large scale farmers, aggregators, input dealers, machinery and equipment dealers, agro processors, financial institutions, development agencies, Telcos, and many more.
These will further create avenues for sealing new business deals, acquiring new innovative ideas, and access to new markets your products.
There will tailor made training sessions, field demonstrations, presentations, commodity breakout session and exhibitions.
Currently the event is the only agribusiness event which revolutionaries and brings Ghana’s agricultural value chain together for business interaction and knowledge sharing.
In partnership with the European Union, Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, together with other private and international organizations, the organisers, Agri-house Foundation seeks to assist farmers and agri-businesses to expand their businesses before and after harvesting, and to create enabling environment for new partnerships to promote and expand agriculture.
The consistent choice of northern Ghana as the venue for the event is a deliberate strategy by organisers to incite a collective focus on the agricultural potential of the northern zone and the vast irrigation possibilities that remain unexploited.
Billed under the theme, “Covid-19 And Beyond; Solutions for Agricultural Transformation, the Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference is an interventional forum that presents a common platform for various value chain actors in the agric sector to meet, discuss business, contracts and adopt a renewed sense of purpose.
The annual agric showpiece is made up of farmers, public and private sector business officials and other stakeholders who collectively share an innate desire to see an improved agricultural sector for Ghana.
The two (2) day event will also provide participants a common platform where diverse services linked to the agric sector, such as seed production, fertilizer, finance, fisheries, storage, machinery, livestock, and packaging & processing, ICT among others will interact for mutually beneficial ends. Participants will be taken through practical and engaging sessions at the conference to enable them gain deeper insights into best practices as well as how to take full advantage of the numerous opportunities in the agric sector for growth and expansion.
According to Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director for Agri-house Foundation, “This event is major interventional exhibition and conference, which seeks to accelerate the transformation of agribusiness in Northern Ghana. This year’s edition which is remarkably the tenth anniversary of the initiative will help farmers and all participants with requisite knowledge on how to thrive in their respective enterprises despite the apparent challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
We expect exhibitors and participants including farmers, traders, commodity brokers, input companies, machinery and equipment dealers, transporters, financial institutions, ICT, Innovations, Poultry and Livestock companies, packaging and processing companies, development practitioners and government agencies, among others to be part of this year’s event.
There shall be training programs, keynotes, panel and open discussions, field visits, demonstrations, exhibitions, and more to capture issues impacting agricultural market access and linkages and how to survive in business post Covid-19. “
There will be great emphasis on the adoption of best practices for improved productivity and the need for farmers and commodity buyers to forge mutually beneficial partnerships that encourage growth and expansion.
The event will equally create an environment for interaction between development partners, donor agencies, farmers, corporate bodies and civil society where thoughts on how to help the industry overcome the fallout of Covid-19 will be prioritized.
For optimum impact, organizers have designed event sessions to give participants in-depth insight into the state of the industry today and the opportunities that lie ahead. Commodity Break-out session, Intensive and focused Training Programs, Farmer to Buyer Dialogue, Development Partner Forum are some of the sessions designed for the benefit of participants.
Panel Education sessions will revolve around areas like Climate-smart agricultural approach and practices, Innovative integrated food security & nutrition, Market accessibility pathway, Production, process and export impact to Rural development and Food security etc.
In Tamale 10 years ago, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID ADVANCE) launched the Pre-harvest Annual Conference and Exhibitions.
The event was later passed on to Agri-house Foundation who are now organizes of the event.
In 2018, the event was adjudged the Agribusiness event of the Year and is today a key feature on the agriculture calendar.
The event operates from a facilitative dimension through which it creates the platform on which smallholder farmers are linked to markets, finance, inputs, equipment, and information through larger commercial farmers and traders who have the capacity and incentive to invest in smallholder production.
The event focuses on accelerating the transformation of agribusiness in Northern Ghana with the Government’s initiatives, building and sustaining a strong consciousness amongst agro-processors to source raw materials locally, developing agribusiness entrepreneurs, and implementing valuable lessons gained from development partner interventions.
In 2018, and subsequently, the event has continued to record attendance and participation figures not less than 3,000.
The 2018 edition recorded a total of 3,122 participants and 141 exhibitors, including farmers, traders, commodity brokers, input companies, machinery and equipment providers, transporters, financial institutions, ICT, Innovations, Poultry and Livestock companies, packaging and processing companies, development practitioners and government agencies, among others. In 2019, the performance took a better turn with an increased smallholder farmers’ participation (majority of them being women).
The 10th Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference is organised by Agri-house Foundation in partnership with the European Union, Yara Ghana, Ecobank, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council.