Business News Mon, 20 Jan 2020
Four major international sponsors of agribusiness are at various stages of supporting B-BOVID’s network of farmers to modernize their business operations.B-BOVID- Building Business on Values, Intergrity and Dignity, is a private agro-business in the agricultural value chain operating in the palm oil and vegetables sector.
The company has a peculiar model of profit sharing, introducing its outgrowers to ICT and other technology practices to enhance yields and advance the livelihood of farmers who have been perceived as poor people over the period.
"This is a strategic boost to the all-inclusive, climate-smart, social business model B-BOVID has introduced into the country over the past ten years," Mr Issa Ouedraogo, the CEO of the company, said.
In 2018, the Moringa impact fund, initiated by the "Edmond de Rothschild Group and ONF International, an international subsidiary of the French Office National des Forêts (ONF)" injected 5 Million US dollars into the company’s unique out-grower based palm oil polyculture model to expand production capacity to meet growing local and regional demand for sustainable and traceable palm oil products, while improving livelihood of the out-growers.
He said other international donors have taken advantage of B-BOVID’S unique business model and improving prospects to inject various sums of donor funds into the company; the Agroforestry Technical Assistance Facility (ATAF) was helping to structure and manage B-BOVID’s out-grower network to reach full traceability from farm to the mill.
The CEO said the support would also leverage on digital technology to improve upon fruit collection, production efficiency, transparency in pricing and developing a sustainable agroforestry farm model to disseminate efficient farm management practices among farmers.
The B-BOVID has also signed an MOU with Solidaridad Network West Africa to build a comprehensive farmers’ database, farmers’ profile, digital mapping and to manage Rural Service Centers (RSC’s) in each of its six operational centers as a means of providing support services to oil palm smallholder farmers with AVRIL Foundation supporting B-BOVID to study and identify market opportunities for farm diversification.
The AgDevCo-SDU (Smallholder Development Unit) would help B-BOVID and its farmers to get certification to assure customers that the standard of palm oil production was sustainable.
The company has already received technical support from GIZ/CIM in its multi-faceted agribusiness operations.
Mr Ouedraogo said though agriculture in Africa is a trillion dollar business, it remains trapped in outdated approach to value creation which has immensely limited the continent’s potential.
“We must prepare to tap into this global opportunity in order to come out of this vicious cycle of poverty. There is an urgent need to expand access to secondary and tertiary education, build capacity and promote entrepreneurship among the youth, and reduce migration to towns and other countries for greener pasture."
Mr Ouedraogo called for a comprehensive national agenda that goes beyond party lines and which takes care of emerging climate and environmental issues, food security, with a mechanism that monitored and eliminated greed, corruption and incompetence from all levels of the food chain.
He said the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda would be possible with a well-planned, carefully nurtured and developed agricultural sector that has the capacity for youth empowerment and job creation.