On the on 28th November, 2017, YPARD Ghana organized an Agribusiness Networking Cocktail event to facilitating networking opportunities and market for its members. To achieve this aim, the drinks, food and services for the event were sourced among YPARD member entrepreneurs. The event took place at the office of the African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) in Accra.
The event was supported by the team at Trotro Tractor Ltd, Goona, and Farmable Ltd. Aiming to boost local businesses, all the drinks and food served at the event were locally sourced. Participants were fully immersed in the expertly served delicious goat, beef, and fish khebab with varied home-grown chilled drinks on the side.
The delicious goat khebab was sourced from Goat masters Ltd. Goat masters Ltd is set out to deliver value for money delicious goat products to consumers. Apart from the khebab, they prepare goat pepper soups, whole dressed goat delivery etc. All products are delivered at the comfort and convenience of the customer. The beef for the event was supplied by Farmable.me a livestock enterprise established to supply quality Ghanaian beef for consumption. GOONA.me supplied the rabbit use for rabbit khebab to spice up the event. Other companies that participated include Aquatic World, Syecomp Ghana Ltd, Biggie Poultry Farms, Chamber of Agribusiness Executive Ghana, Roshpinnah, Agricinghana Media, Farm Master’s Africa Ltd, and PDA Ghana.
Vickashi Kreatives set up and beautifully decorated the venue and also expertly supplied the local chilled drinks such as Sobolo, Asana, and Pito, served with calabash and dispensers. They also provided delicious plantain chips and groundnuts for the occasion. Lighting for the event was made possible by Orchestration Lighting Design Ltd.
Most of the young professionals who participated in this event were Agtech and Fintech start-up founders, crop farmers, livestock farmers, poultry farmers, fish farmers, etc. Key invitees included the former Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Ahmed Alhassan Yakubu; Director of The Beige Foundation, Mrs. Akosua Adayi; and Dr. Alex Ariho, CEO of African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN).
Food for thought: Unexploited opportunities
Interacting with the participants of this first Agribusiness Networking Cocktail organized by YPARD Ghana and its partners, Mr. Alistair Djimatey of Blue Skies pointed out a huge opportunity in the fruits and pineapple industry in Ghana. He informed participants that production for local supply of pineapple is not sufficient to meet the market demand of their produce so they have to resort to importing from other countries. Opportunity is therefore available to young people and business entities who want to enter into pineapple production.
He said the industrialization effort of government to establish factories in every district of the country cannot be achieved without agriculture. Agriculture is the only sector that has the potential to employ as many people and also provide the basic necessity of life thus food. He added, “a man who has food has many problems; if you don’t have food to eat you have just one problem”. By that he meant that we humans have one problem- food security, and all efforts must be made by all to address it.
Mr. Djimati expressed concern about how in recent times every arable land is sold for estate development. This situation has also made land for agriculture very expensive.
He therefore requested that efforts be made by lawmakers to pass laws that will curb this situation. “If we do not stop the sale of agricultural lands for estate development we would have to learn how to eat concrete as food,” he warned. The market needed for agriculture for instance pineapple can carried through the school feeding program which create a huge opportunities for farmers. For instance, one chunk of pineapple a day by students will help the local farmer get ready farmer to their produce. Speaking on the absence of Agricultural Science as a subject in the country’s basic school curriculum, He said it is an offense against the next generation for school children not to be taught to understand how and where the food they eat comes from. He advised that it is not good enough for the educational system to place agriculture in the basic school level as a topic but not a subject to be studied practically. He said the current practice in our schools is the reason why students coming out of the basic school lacking the understanding and skills required in agriculture.
He emphasized that the actions required to make agriculture work in Ghana is to come out with mechanisms to finance our good ideas. Good ideas must wholly be supported to make the necessary impact. There is also the need to connect science with business. Concluding his submission on the way forward in this venture he said, “It can be done and it must be done. But if it is not done, we’re done”.
The discovery of the event was the first ever fish sausage prepared by Aquatic World. The sausage was so delicious and is a taste to call for a second time. YPARD Ghana hopes to continue engaging YPARDian agripreneurs along the supply chain in organizing its offline programmes and events to help boost businesses of members.
Photo credit: Incubation TV