The maiden edition of Meet the Farmers Conference (MTFC), an agriculture stakeholder summit has been launched in Accra to link players in the Agricultural sector in Africa especially Ghana to the Middle East Regions.
This year’s event, which, is jointly organised, by Create and Innovate (CRENOV8), Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Investment Promotion Authority, Agrihouse, Culter, and Dubai Chamber would be held in Accra on July 4, 2018.
It would serve as a focal point, where parties of interest could form strategic alliance with the Dubai government, local and foreign authorities, and financial institutions to enhance trade in the region.
The MTFC also seeks among others to connect large-scale agro-agricultural producers from Africa to off-takers in the Middle East using Dubai as a trade and logistics hub to form potential business partnerships.
Speaking at the launch, Miss Bola Oyedele, Business Consultant at CRENOV8 said there was a huge gap in the area of trade in agriculture between Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that the conference would gather sector players to find ways of highlighting the country’s presence in that region.
‘It is indeed discouraging to visit supermarkets in the UAE and have little or no representation of the nutrient-packed produce that comes from the rich soils of Ghana in particular and West Africa in general,’ she said.
Ms Oyedele remarked that Ghana had been acclaimed as an agricultural country due to the major contribution of the sector to the Gross Domestic Product.
The event, she disclosed was in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid” initiative and said the country would have diverse future avenues to export its agro products.
The MTFC, she noted would help curb the waste incurred by the country, by providing supplementary avenues for food to be exported to the Middle East and Gulf Cooperation Council countries thereby increasing Ghana export earnings.
Quoting a study commissioned by Food Agriculture Organisation (FOA) in 2011, Ms Oyedele said globally, about one-third of food produced for human consumption estimated at 1.3 billion tons annually was wasted.
‘It is against this backdrop, the participation of the major stakeholders will be key in engineering the success of this event. This is an opportunity to pioneer the development of the agricultural sector on a global scale by showcasing the innovation and creativity involved Agriculture highlighting Ghana’s organic food produce,’ she noted.
Nene Davies Korboe, Chairman of National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana said Agriculture was one of the strong sectors that could support the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda and urged farmers to focus on producing quality crops and ensure good packaging to be able to meet the requirement to export their produce.
‘I encourage farmers who are facing financial difficulties to approach the various financial institutions for support to meet the export quality standards,’ he said.
By Yaw Ansah/Stella Opokuwaa Asare, GNA