The agricultural sector is important to Ghana’s export earnings and also serves as a major source of input for the manufacturing sector. It is for this reason, the African Business Centre for Developing Education in partnership with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) organized its 2nd Annual Forum on Government, Industry and Academia Collaboration (AFGIAC), under the theme “Commercialization of Scientific Research; Promoting Youth Employment In Agribusiness”
The event chaired by the Chairman of ABCDE and former Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah was held at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and saw stakeholders in Agribusiness from Government, Industry and academia under one roof to dialogue and propose ways to make scientific research available for the promotion of agribusiness amongst the youth.
Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah in his presentation admonished the youth to venture into agribusiness. He also highlighted the fact that research is needed to boost the agribusiness industry. He said “We need research to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the promotion of agribusiness”. He added “The private sector must support in engaging the youth as their commercial business partners to develop youth businesses”. At the end of his speech, he advised the youth to take advantage of the various programs and create sustainable and viable agribusiness for themselves.
In a speech read for the minister for food and agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, he stated that agribusiness has been increasingly recognized over the years with different organizations providing support to agribusiness usually through programs and projects. He said “Now, Agribusiness has undergone a shift from the traditional farm model to strategically placed commercial production and processing units linked to exports and modern retailers.” He added that the agribusiness industry employs 35.95% of the active labour force, and serves as a major source of revenue for the government.
The main sponsor for the event was the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, supported by their development partners DANIDA, USAID and EU with GLICO. Other sponsors for the forum were GLICO Capital and 3FM (our media sponsor). Speaking on behalf of the BUSAC Fund was the Fund Manager, Nicholas Gebera. In his presentation he said, “BUSAC Fund was approached by the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE), seeking support the forum (AFGIAC) which saw to the collaboration of Government, Industry, and Academia for socio-economic development. The fund considered the idea as a highly laudable proposal, unique in its nature and fully aligned with the objectives of the fund. He also added, “Agriculture in Ghana is important to Ghana’s export earnings and a major source of inputs for the manufacturing sector. It has the potential of becoming the leading sectors, an engine for growth and a reliable source of job creation”.
Amongst the stakeholders and distinguished individuals present were Mr. Jeremey Agyemang, The Head, Agribusiness unit of Ministry of Agriculture; Mr. Charles Tortoe, Deputy Director Food Research Institute-CSIR; Mr. Selorm Branttie from mPedigree; Mrs. Tenemba A. Samaké, CEO, MBC Africa; Prof. Samuel Nii Odai, Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, KNUST; Cobus Du Toit, West African Director, John Deere; and Mrs. Philomena Dsane, the acting director PPME, NBSSI.
The next face of the event will see students through a training program organized by ABCDE – in partnership with John Deere, on the effective ways of practicing agribusiness for greater yield and returns.