FAGRO 2012 Seminar series to address gaps in agric value chain

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Accra, July 10, GNA – This year’s seminar series of the Food and Agricultural Show (FAGRO) is aimed to advocate measures to address weaknesses in Ghana’s agricultural value chain process.

     The fourth edition of Ghana’s only Agric Expo, dubbed: “FAGRO 2012”, is an international exhibition and conference designed specifically for agricultural stakeholders, entrepreneurs, students, market women, NGOs, and various agric trade associations.

     This year’s event, which is on the theme: “Linking farmers to the appropriate market: a value chain process”, is scheduled for August 25 to 27, 2012 at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra.

     Mr. Sulley Adam, Chairman of FAGRO, said the event would help to establish and maintain a value chain process that has the farmer at heart.

     He said it would also provide alternative measures in ensuring that all actors in the agric sector fully benefit from their hard work with a clear cut plan on how they could practicalize the knowledge they acquire and work with it effectively.

     He added that this year’s free seminar series along with the main exhibition had been crafted with the needs of the smallholder farmer in mind, adding that issues of women participation in agric, farmers’ access to funds, fertilizer accessibility and efficient use, the role of farming organizations in linking Farmers’ to markets would be thoroughly debated by Farmer Based Groups, policy makers and NGOs.

     “A 3-day seminar linked to the theme will run free of charge by experts drawn from various agric professions. The idea is to empower participants with requisite information and skills to improve the performance of their business from financing to marketing,” he emphasized.

     Also given lots of attention at this year’s event is the utilization of Information Communication Technology in agri-business.

     Mr Adam defined value chain system simply as the stages of agricultural production, which includes the acquisition of land, preparing and cultivation of crops, harvesting, storage, processing and marketing and warned that no policy on agriculture in the country would be successful if it failed to address all the aforementioned stages efficiently.

     FAGRO for the next five (5) years will focus on the value chain process; by linking farmers to the appropriate markets, with the hope of creating a commercial platform, where growers come into direct contact with the other actors in the value chain process.

     At the end of the day, they get to know who to contact, where to purchase or acquire the “appropriate machinery” and when to engage an “expert” service provider to help improve their farming operations.

     FAGRO, an initiative of Infocus PR, has over the years created opportunities for local and international actors in agriculture to find a common platform to form strategic partnerships that have helped them in expanding their businesses.

     It has also opened up Ghana’s agricultural potentials to investors who wish to better understand the dynamics and resource potentials of the country and how best to take advantage of them.

     In addition, FAGRO has provided the platform for participating companies and institutions to receive valuable feedback from their potential and existing clients so as to help them re-strategize for the future.

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