Ghana: Boost for Agribusiness Modernisation ... As B-Bovid' Gets Support

22 January 2020

Takoradi — B-BOVID' Ltd, a farming and oil palm processor, located at Mpohor in the Western Region, has received support from four major international sponsors in agribusiness to modernise the business operations of its farmers.

The sponsorships, which are at various stages form part of strategies to boost an all-inclusive, climate-smart, social business model of B-BOVID, introduced into the country over the past ten years.

For example, 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), had injected five million US dollars into the company's unique out-grower based palm oil poly culture model to expand production capacity.

This is also targeted to meeting growing local and regional demand, sustain palm oil products, while improving livelihood of the out-growers.

The Agroforestry Technical Assistance Facility (ATAF) is helping to structure and manage B-BOVID's out-grower network from the farm to the mill.

In an interview with journalists here on Friday, the Chief Executive Officer of B-BOVID, Issa Ouedraogo, indicated that the company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Solidaridad Network West Africa to build a comprehensive farmers' database.

The MoU, he said, also covered a farmers' profile and digital mapping to manage Rural Service Centres (RSC's) in each of its six operational centres, as a means of providing support services to oil palm smallholder farmers.

AVRIL Foundation, Mr Ouedraogo mentioned, was supporting B-BOVID to study and identify market opportunities for farm diversification, while AgDevCo-SDU (Smallholder Development Unit) was helping the company and farmers to get RSPO certification.

This, he explained, would assure customers that the standard of palm oil production was sustainable, adding that"the company already receives technical support from GIZ/CIM in its multi-faceted agribusiness operations".

The Chief Executive Officer of B-BOVID noted that "although Africa still has huge fertile lands, abundance of water and a dynamic youth population, about 63 per cent of the farming population is illiterate, a major deficit to modern agricultural practice".

Commenting on the latest developments in B-BOVID,Mr Ouedraogo said agriculture in Africa was a trillion dollar business, and, indeed, the future of Africa.

However, he said, Africa remained trapped in outdated approach to value creation which had immensely limited the continent's potential.

"We must prepare to tap into this global opportunity in order to come out of this vicious circle 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," he said.

He said: "We also need to engage development partners, donors, corporate bodies, chiefs, foundations, universities, entrepreneurs to work together hand in hand to build a solid foundation for a truly sustainable economic development and growth."

Mr.Ouedraogo again called for a comprehensive national agenda that went beyond party lines and considered emerging climate and environmental issues, food security, and a mechanism that monitored and eliminated greedy, corrupt and incompetent officials from all levels of the food chain.

He said: "The Ghana BeyondAid agenda will be possible with a well-planned, carefully nurtured and developed agricultural sector that has the capacity for youth empowerment and job creation."

There is an urgent need to expand access to secondary and tertiary education

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