Green Gold Farms Ghana, an Accra-based agribusiness, has secured lands at Sekpe, in the Mion Districts in the Northern Region for soybean production.
The a 50-year lease of 40,000 acres of land released by the chief and traditional leaders of Sekpe at an estimated value of US$20 million is to ensure the cultivation of soybeans for local consumption and export, which will create jobs and enhance the livelihoods of the farmers.
The project is expected to commence with the production of 5,000 metric tons of non-GMO soybean crop, in an off-take agreement with ARASA Investment Ltd, a subsidiary of Turkey based organisation TIRYAKI AGRO, one of the largest processors of agro commodities in the world.
About 150 farmers are expected to be engaged by the end of 2020 and 400 by 2021, with about 1,500 workers to be employed directly from the surrounding communities eventually.
Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony at Sekpe, the Chief Executive Officer of Green Gold Farms, George Boakye Sarpong said, the aim of the project is to boost domestic food production to address the major vulnerabilities in Ghana’s food supply chain, adding that the vulnerability has further been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused massive food inflation.
According to him, the project is expected to lift about 20,000 Ghanaians out of poverty to enhance their livelihoods so that they can contribute positively to the socio-economic development of the country. “We seek to bring down and stabilize food prices, create sustainable skilled jobs and improve local communities and livelihoods, while contributing to the long-term macroeconomic, social and political benefits to the nation,” he said.
He noted the GGF has begun a pilot farm on 3,000 acres of prime agricultural land secured at Okere district in the Eastern Region saying “the farm is equipped with modern infrastructure to allow for three cropping cycles per year compared to two cycles as is commonly practiced.”
“This marks the second project we have embarked on, in less than a year. Our aim is to continuously support local farmers and their families with jobs and technical support, all year long,” he said, adding that “we believe that Africa can feed itself and have therefore signed an off-taker agreement with local companies such as Arasa, for the mechanized cultivation of 5,000 MT of soya beans for 2020. For this reason, we are open to any possible support or funding on this project,” he said.
“We hope to mechanize the cultivation and production of maize soybean and with time, vegetables, spices, legumes and pulses and livestock,” he stressed.
On his part, the Managing Director of ARASA Investment Ltd, Frank Erkasian indicated that since 2007, the company has been sourcing a wide range of natural and non-GMO agricultural products for conventional and organic animal feed from various African countries. “We seek to identify credible partners and with GGF, we believe we have found a winner that will grow into a regional champion to provide quality grains to feed into our company’s supply chain with annual volume of five million metric tons across 85 countries,” he said.
This, he said, would help generate healthy revenue for GGF while boosting the nation’s foreign currency reserves with long term macro-economic impact such as driving down inflation, reducing currency volatility and encouraging foreign investment.
The Northern Regional Sector Commercial Manager for Yara Ghana, Abdul Rahman pledged the commitment of the company to support in sustaining the project for a worthy cause by providing quality and certified fertilizer to boost high crop yield.
Chief of Sekpe, Fuseini Issah, commended the company for taking this initiative which he hopes will improve the well-being of the people of Sekpe through jobs, skills training and access to high-quality, fresh, domestically-grown grains which will immensely benefit the physical and cognitive development of the people in the community. Beneficiaries in attendance also thanked the company for coming to their aid to boost agricultural production which is their major source of livelihood.