FAGRO, Praxis Africa sign MoU to improve agriculture

The National Food and Agriculture Show (FAGRO) and Praxis Africa, on Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve marketing of Ghanaian agricultural produce globally.

Praxis Africa is a network of development professionals providing entrepreneurial support to initiatives related to agriculture, food and water energy.

The MoU would enable the two organisations to explore opportunities in the agricultural sector in terms of scope of business operations and provide credibility to their stakeholders.

It would also enhance financial prudence and enable them to be marketable and allow for future mergers and acquisitions.

Other areas of the MOU involves marketing and research, consultancy for agriculture, food-related issues, and enhanced communication in the agricultural sector.

The rest include supply of inputs for small-scale farmers, improve the annual food and agriculture show, and exchange programme for some selected colleges in Ghana and Canada.

Mr Adam Sulley, the Chairman and Consultant for FAGRO signed for FAGRO while Mr Tony Mensah-Abrampah, the Country Director for Praxis Africa, and Madam Richelle Matthew, the International Programme Manager, Adfarm/Praxis Africa, signed for the Group.

Mr Sulley said FAGRO would provide a platform to promote agriculture to Ghana as a complement to the Sustainable Development Goals Two (SDG 2), to eliminate hunger by 2030.

He said FAGRO had collaborated with Praxis Africa since 2011 and signed the MOU in order to leverage the new business services that were being offered by the latter.

He said the Organisation had been in existence for the past nine years and had made significant progress by providing the marketing platform in the agricultural sector through the annual Food and Agriculture Show.

Mr Sulley said FAGRO was launched in North Dakota, USA, and was the flagship brand of the Argon Food and Agriculture Ghana Limited, a privately-led and owned initiative.

Mr Mensah-Abrampah, on his part, said Praxis Africa would collaborate with the Government to deliver on its mandate, especially in the area of technical expertise and knowledge sharing, for their mutual benefit.

He said it would also collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Association of Local Government Authorities and the Head of the Civil Service towards the successful implementation of the ‘‘Planting for Food and Jobs.’’

Madam Richelle Matthew, the International Programme Manager, Adfarm/Praxis Africa, said the Network was primarily established to improve agriculture investment in Ghana and support farmers to produce quality crops, access new market and promote vibrant agribusinesses.

She said it had collaborated with FAGRO to undertake a number of initiatives such as agriculture television programmes, which afforded farmers the opportunity to learn best practices, proper use of farm inputs and trade facilitation.

She revealed that Praxis Africa had established a 100-acre farm at Awutu-Mankessim in the Central Region for cassava, built a processing centre and working with the local community to exchange information on best farming practices.

Madam Matthew gave the assurance that the Network would continue the partnership with FAGRO by re-vitalising their relationship.

Mr Kojo Mensah Abrampa, a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Planning, expressed excitement over the MOU, noting that it had come at an opportune time as government had launched a seven-year development plan. He said the Plan had outlined five major areas, with agriculture transformation being one of the avenues to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and increase income for the country.

Mr Abrampa said it would support farmers to access ready market to prevent perennial post-harvest losses adding that government had adopted demand-supply approach for farmers to ensure efficiency.

‘‘One of the approaches is the post-harvest management whereby the farmer is not just going to produce based on the fertilisers and seedlings supplied by the Government but will look at the market, how much can be produced and how much is demanded,’’ he said.

Mr Abrampa said government would provide warehouses for farmers to store their produce and release them in a manner that would not affect pricing.

The Plan, he said, would enable agriculture extension officers to use the local radio stations to interact with farmers, which would enable them to share their challenges while appropriate solutions were offered.