Vana

Ghana

SMART Farming in Ghana

SMART

Farming in Ghana

Ghana is one of the fastest emerging economies in Africa and like most of the African countries, the major contributor to its economy is agriculture. Interestingly, agriculture also contributes to close to 40% of Ghana’s exports.

A local agribusiness company has been working with smallholder farmers to grow vegetables for the purpose of export. The company has been looking for expert advisory to educate and develop the local farmer into a smart farmer to increase the quality and demand of their products. Vana identified the opportunity and sent a team of farmers from Malaysia to evaluate the existing agriculture scenario and develop strategies moving forward.

Farmer Aggregator in Ghana

Vana Global started engaging with the local business in Ghana, which is a farmer aggregator in Ghana for the past 10 odd years. The Business is engaged in the export of fruits and vegetables from Ghana to Europe and Canada. The company supports livelihood for more than 3,000 farmers who are from the rural regions of five administrative regions of Ghana – Central, Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, and Ashanti. The farmers produce quality fruit and vegetables including non-GMO, organic, and locally grown varieties. The company has experience in agriculture for more than 25 years and this experience has provided them with the opportunity to establish a wide sales network in Europe and Canada. The company aims to hit a target of USD 25 million in revenues by 2020 and around USD 100 Million by the year 2023.

Project Execution

Since the company is planning to grow its business, increase its product portfolio and expand export destinations, they have been scouting for agricultural expertise. Vana Global sent a team of smart farmers from Malaysia to Ghana to study the existing scenario and suggest a future growth strategy. The smart farmer team has expertise in growing high-value fruits and vegetables in both the open and a green-house environment in Malaysia. 

One of the key reasons for the visit to Ghana was the introduction of smart farming in Ghana which will especially improve productivity and quality of the produce. Other plans included setting up greenhouses, future development of export markets, providing improved extension services to the farmers, a strategy to recruit more smallholder farmers, and future business expansion plans. Since Ghana is one of the emerging economies in Western Africa and agriculture is a major contributor to its economy, Vana Global looks to set up a Vana Centre immediately to induct the existing farmers and engage more new farmers.

Future Plan

Vana recognizes great potential in Ghana for agribusiness through which the local farmers could benefit immensely from Vana’s services. Vana is planning to set up at least two Vana Centres in the next two years catering to at least 50,000 registered farmers. For this purpose, Vana is identifying locations in Greater Accra and Volta regions.

Ghana

Supermicrobials

Agriculture constitutes 40% of Ghana’s exports and most of the exports are to EU countries. There is a lot of emphasis on growing the crops in an organic or natural way. Although crops can be grown without using any chemical fertilizers or pesticides, the usage of biofertilizers will improve the quality and productivity of the crop.

Ghana have a requirement for biofertilizers and biopesticides. It sent a team from Malaysia along with samples of the product and conducted trials.

Product and Trials

Vana’s team in Malaysia is already producing and conducting trials for one of the most advanced and crop-specific microbial organisms called Supermicrobials. The Supermicrobials act in three fundamental areas of crop health – nutrient management, pest control, and disease protection. Two innovative formulations from Supermicrobials, AgBiotics, and Farmfungi cater to various agricultural needs

A team from Vana Malaysia conducted trials of AgBiotics on a few crops in Ghana. The farmers were delighted to notice a positive response from the plants with AgBiotics. After the application of AgBiotics on medicinal plants and maize which were infested with caterpillars and other pests and with nutritional deficiencies, they found quick transformation. The farmers have started trials on other crops like cocoa, oil palm, pineapple, mango, and tomatoes.  The vegetable crops from Ghana are exported to some of the EU countries and are thus a good source of income for farmers. Now, these farmers feel that they have a natural alternative to disease and pest control for the vegetables which also boosts plant growth. Organically grown vegetables will fetch better prices for their produce and the farmers are very enthusiastic to increase the usage of AgBiotics.

Efforts are ongoing from Vana in assisting the farmers with propagating more trials and also obtaining necessary clearances to import Supermicrobials into Ghana. Since Vana plans to establish their farmer centres in Ghana which would be catering to at least 50,000 farmers, Vana would be encouraging all the farmers to utilize a tried and tested the natural product to enhance the quality of their produce.