For many within and without the Agriculture industry, the term ‘agriculture’ resonates mental images of hoes, cutlasses, vegetation-and recently, mechanized farming, pesticides and fertilizers. This mundane view of agriculture though age-old, has endured because most industry firms centred their operations and service delivery on farm-specific endeavours.
Fast forward to year 2020- which is interestingly the start of a new decade, several non-traditional industry firms have identified the agriculture industry as a fertile ground for business impact.
Indeed, the success of the local agriculture industry is heavily reliant on the input of firms who combine innovation and excellence to great effect through the delivery of cutting-edge products and services that are tailored to resolve peculiar challenges.
Besides quality products and relevant service delivery, these firms create actionable solutions that have already cemented the place of some in the annals of Ghanaian agriculture.
One of such stand-out firm is Agrihouse Foundation. The Foundation, a non-governmental agricultural capacity building, innovation and project management organization, with a special focus on changing the perception of, and consciously shaping the conversation on agriculture through the promotion of people-impact programs, projects and initiatives, targeting students, women, farmers, farming associations, agribusinesses and actors within the value chain.
Agrihouse Foundation is essentially a sectoral growth facilitator with social, economic and environmental impart at the heart of its initiatives. all of its programs, many of which are interventional are designed to address different groups of actors within the value chain.
The ultimate aim is to create the most relevant platforms, that groom leaders, enable and establish beginner Agribusinesses, recognize role models, empower and inspire generational agri-women leaders, create and promote opportunities in animal agriculture, provide and support soft skills & competence training & create an enabling grounds for market linkages and accessibility to support the country's agricultural agenda.
The works of the foundation bring all value chain actors together: beginners, small holder farmers, commercial farmers, aggregators, buyers, processors, packagers, input dealers, tractor & equipment companies, researchers, policy makers, government agencies, development partners and all other relevant stakeholders.
Other initiatives of the foundation focus on mentorship, empowerment, grooming, leadership, best practices, management, training programs, etc, that leads to effecting positive change in the mind, field, economy and translate to the community. Agrihouse Foundation is also versed in Agric Exhibitions, Trade Promotions, and Research, communications, concept creation and investor relations.
With a central goal that is hinged on a seething desire to be an unassailable industry trailblazer, Agrihouse Foundation and its sister company (Agrihouse Communications) seeks to create a focused platform, dedicated to increase innovation, communication, advocacy and initiate high impactful agric projects that cut across all sex and acts: men, women, students, farmers, governments, etc., led by its founder, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, an Agric Advocate and a seasoned communications executive.
In her words “Agrihouse Foundation is passionate about Agriculture and wants to see Agriculture rise and work. With a combined effort and experience spanning over 30 years, the team at Agrihouse foundation is passionate about positioning and shaping the conversation on agriculture through smart thinking, effective communication and impactful Agric-friendly projects.
Our passion is to initiate and drive projects that will address issues and challenges in agriculture and generate thoughtful debates among our stakeholders and ultimately provide step-by-step solutions.
We derive satisfaction in making agriculture lively, exciting and competitive. Our dedication to agriculture is our passion and we are excited to see people involved and committed to the projects we bring to life”
On the impact of the foundation so far, she says: “Agrihouse Foundation has a strong track record of delivering a range of projects for agricultural women, students, farmers, industry players, etc. with a focus on building networks, leadership, communication and advocacy capabilities at the local, regional, national and international level.”
Buoyed by an institutional vision that seeks to make Agrihouse a conspicuous international brand, the firm seeks to consolidate its imperious grip on its chosen area of operation and consequently capitalize on successes achieved as a catalyst for expansive impact.
In what has become a tradition, the foundation made pervasive impact through its flagship projects that have today become prominent features on the agric-calendar.
Some of the standout events which were held at varied locations across the country achieved mammoth successes and contributed immensely to government’s efforts to revamp agriculture and reinstate it as the undisputed lifeblood of the economy.
Key Projects for 2020
Since bursting ont0 the scene in 2017, Agrihouse Foundation has made concept creation a habitual trait. The foundation has since inception, introduced industry specific initiatives that have become ingrained as notable events that stakeholders look forward to each year.
AG-STUD AFRICA (Agric students’ Career and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp)
According to one of the shining pillars of agriculture on the continent, President of the African Development Bank, (AFDB) Akinwuni Adesina, the future is bright for Africa if her youth will look to agriculture and take full advantage of the inherent opportunities in the sector.
“I don’t believe that the future of African youth lies at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea (in reference to illegal migration to Europe)….the future of African young people lies in a more prosperous and inclusive Africa, and there is no other sector that has power to create growth than agriculture.” he said in his acceptance speech for winning The World Food Prize two years ago.
The apparent disconnect that exists between the country’s youth population and the agriculture industry led Agrihouse Foundation, to launch an annual agric-students capacity boot camp event dubbed AGSTUD Africa in 2017.
Structured as a four (4) day bootcamp event, AGSTUD Africa aims to develop the expertise of agric students and beginner agribusinesses by appraising them with the constant changes identified in the sector including production, marketing, processing, branding, input, finance, equipment, technology, land tenure among others through education and leadership programmes.
Last year the program had about 350 selected participants from some 25 institutions including KNUST, UDS, University of Ghana, University of Cape-coast, Kwadaso Agric College, Damongo Agric College, Fair River Institute, Animal Health, AsuanzI Farm Institute, Ejura Agric College, Adidome Agric College, KITA, selected Senior High School students, beginner agribusinesses and small agribusiness start-ups across the country. The bootcamp also led to the establishment of over ten (10), thriving businesses.
The program was divided into three (3) thematic areas with each day focusing on precise activities that had been predesigned to improve the capacity of participants.
The opening day of the event saw participants enjoy an exciting field trip to selected agric-industry firms. The fun-filled yet educative trip afforded participating students the rare opportunity to enjoy a first-hand experience of what the world of work portends. There was also practical training session where students were taught the fundamentals for writing investor friendly business plans.
This year, Agrihouse is set to consolidate the gains made through AGSTUD Africa by rolling out the best edition of the event yet. As part of the scale up efforts, Agrihouse established nine (9) business units in some of the agric colleges and universities at the last quarter of 2019.
These business units, will operate as full-fledged businesses and will be further groomed to expand their businesses at the camp, whiles they make skill set presentations on their growth strategies and approaches. It is the hope of Agrihouse to establish these businesses across all colleges, institutions and other African countries within the next 3-5 years.
Already, this year’s edition has been earmarked for February 25-28 2020, with plans already in place to make this year’s edition a practical avenue for training the next generation of agric- industry professionals adept with the dynamics of modern agriculture and the colossal benefits it holds for Ghana.
WOFAGRIC The Women In Food And Agricultural Leadership Training Forum & Expo (WOFAGRIC) and the Gold In The Soil Awards is a pro-women recognition, empowerment and capacity building –platform conceived by Agrihouse to add further verve to efforts already in place by government and other stakeholders to assist women in the industry through capacity building and empowerment.
The maiden edition of the event last year (2019), held in the Volta Region sought to assess the impact women have, in shaping and directing the conversation on production, processing and marketing, and how farm related components of rural economy can contribute to income generation and employment.
Stoutly supported by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Women in Food and Agriculture Development (WIAD) , The Canadian Embassy, National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, Ghana and The Volta Regional Coordinating Council, the event provided a sound basis for advocacy. Over eight hundred women were empowered within 2-days, with over 85% of them, recording business growth and a mindset change within a short time.
This year’s edition, set for May 20-21 2020 in the Ashanti Region, has been laced with soft skills and competence-based training sessions designed to provide a platform for knowledge transfer from industry stalwarts to participants.
Agrihouse believes that a commitment to training women farmers is a guaranteed means of breaking the vicious cycle that leads to rural poverty- Because the nurturing role that women play in families makes them a crucial linkage to improving the capacity of large sections of society.
Gold in the Soil Award, an award component of initiative seeks to appreciate outstanding achievements of women producing along the entire agricultural value chain (from production through to processing, branding and marketing).
It is essentially an awards scheme that showcases the efforts of women agripreneurs, celebrate their achievements and contributions to economic growth of their community and country, through a documentary.
The spotlight is focused on the nominated women’s farms and businesses, and tells their story through a documentary series that dwells on passion, drive, excitement, challenges, short- and long-term vision, in a way designed to inspire and mentor viewers.
The style of the event is to rotate the venue from Region to Region annually, thereby unearthing heroic women in each Region and ultimately supporting to build a strong and organic data of women who are passionately working to make our lives better by putting food on the table.
Women recognized for Awards are either nominated or selected. This year, a new Award category, “She Operates Award”, has been added to the categories, making it a total of fifteen (15) categories in all. The category details and description can be found on our website
Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Tradeshow
Desirous of spreading its operational tentacles to other allied areas, Agrihouse joined forces with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to initiate the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Tradeshow.
The event sought to create a single platform on which actors can interact and collectively propel indigenous business through Exhibitions, networking and capacity improvement.
This year (2020), June 25-27 the latest edition of the event will be rolled out under the theme: “Promoting Opportunities within the Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Value Chain” with a renewed intent to deliberately promote participating firms through free yet, impactful training programs in animal production and best practices.
Already there are impactful results from the last edition with over 80%of exhibitors known to have recorded surge in sales and brand visibility.
Similarly, there are striking testimonies of the impact of the piggery, goat and poultry farming training bequeathed to participants last year.
Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions
The Annual Pre-harvest Agribusiness Exhibitions and Conference event is one of Agrihouse’ key initiative designed to bring stakeholders and actors within the agricultural value chain together to parley over pertinent issues that affect the industry. As a precursor to the harvest seasons, it has become one of the most significant agric showpieces in the country in the creation and linking farmers to markets.
For optimum impact, the event is deliberately fitted with unique 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.
Similarly, Panel Education sessions revolving around pertinent topics like Climate-smart agricultural approach and practices, Achieving an Innovative integrated food security & nutrition results, Market accessibility pathway, Production, process and export impact to Rural development and Food security are treated.
Training Sessions designed to improve that capacity of participants for improved productivity bothered on Warehousing and Storage technologies for post-harvest losses, Basic-to-advanced Financial Literacy education for Farmer Groups, Improving high and quality yields through appropriate production practices, Branding for Marketing Commercial Impact, Going digital to promote and grow your market, Developing a Business plan and Negotiation Skills are areas that past editions of the event has explored.
Backed by significant support from stakeholders, the 2020 edition of the annual showpiece has already been slated for September 10-12, in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.
Billed under the theme, “10 Years of Growing Knowledge, Creating Opportunities and Increasing Marketability: Counting the Milestones”, this year’s event will seek to up- the- ante of what participants and observers have come to expect from the Pre-harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions in recent years.
It will present realistic opportunities for various value chain actors in the agric sector to meet, discuss business, contracts and work together as a coherent team whose goal is to ensure that enough produce is available locally for consumption; thereby mitigating the risks associated with excessive importation.
Participants will be equally 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.
AGRISHOW – BRAZIL
In 2019, the Embassy of Brazil partnered Agrihouse Foundation, the Ghana Embassy in Brazil and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, to promote the 3rd largest agricultural Tradeshow event in the world, Agrishow.
The event saw twenty-three (3) businesses and individuals participating and making giant strides in the Brazilian Agribusiness industry with the kind of business deals sealed. This year’s event is scheduled for the 27th of April to the 1st of May, in Ribeiro Preto, Brazil and it is the hope of Agrihouse, The Brazil embassy in Ghana and the Ghana Embassy in Brazil, that as many Ghanaian companies and individuals can attend to explore the many businesses opportunities in Brazil, whiles forging strategic partnerships.
OUR OTHER PRODUCTS:
Agrihouse is on a growth path and is introducing some new impactful products to support industry needs. These products include: Agri-Data Box services, to provide appropriate and up to date Data in all forms to industries, institutions and stakeholders who maybe in need of Data of value chain actors.
We will also be launching our “Market Linkage” platform within the year to further increase market accessibility and efficiency. Our Agri Watch product will simply be updating all our stakeholders with Agricultural news, issues and trends regionally, nationally and globally. Our sister Company, Agrihouse Communications also provides PR, Media and general communications support and has over the last three (3) years partnered key companies like Yara Ghana, Interplast, USDA GPP, OCP, Glofert, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, LK International, among others to plan and execute successful programs.
The future is certainly exciting with several projects still in the offing. while plans are far advanced to roll out several of such projects; works on others are progressing steadily.
As part of broad measures designed to help the agric industry consolidate the impressive gains made in the last decade, efforts are well underway to further reaffirm the influence of Agrihouse as the foundation craves for even more territories to conquer.
Agrihouse Foundation is well on course to delivering stakeholders expectation of a robust, thriving agric sector. Together with its partners, the foundation is determined and poised to help propel the industry into an era of unprecedented efficiency through capacity building initiatives and programs.
We thank all our partners and stakeholders who share in our vision and have over the years supported us Technically and financially; Yara Ghana, World Food Programme, The MADE Programme, The Canadian Embassy, The National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association, Ecobank Ghana, Interplast, Kosmos Energy, Northern Regional Coordinating Council, the many Farmer Groups and associations, GPP, Ampifies and the USAID Advance Project, among others.
We are confident a lot more organizations, individuals and stakeholders will identify with each of our causes as you further review our 2020 calendar via www.agrihousefoundation.com .We are keen on having you on board as a strategic partner or to discuss other means of collaborations.
Though there are conspicuous success stories to tell, Agrihouse Foundation is not resting on its oars. Already there is an ambitious itinerary of initiatives and projects that have been earmarked for execution to push Ghana ever closer to reaching the highest echelon of global agricultural prominence.