2SCALE facilitates networking among agribusinesses – Graphic Online
Country Team Leader of 2SCALE, Mr Jalil Zakaria
An agribusiness forum to discuss opportunities for actors in the agricultural value chain to network and create linkages for improved competitiveness and efficiency in the provision of services has been held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
The event was under the theme, “Establish 2020, a Business to Business meeting for Agribusiness champions and value chain service providers”.
The forum is part of a five year project aimed at bringing together key participants in the provision of services in the value chain of agriculture to deliberate on the value each service provider brings towards value chain competitiveness.
It would among other things ultimately contribute to food and nutrition security, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and stability in Africa through Public Private Partnerships(PPPs).
Towards Sustainable Clusters in Agri-Business through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE),organized the forum with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The five year project is being implemented by the Bottom of the Pyramid Innovation Center (BoPinc), International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), and the Netherlands Development Organization(SNV) in eight African countries-Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.
Speaking at the forum, the Country Team Leader of 2SCALE,Mr Jalil Zakaria explained that many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or producer organizations in the agriculture value chain lacked the capacity to be innovative while others lacked the financial muscles to actualize their innovations.
“Over the implementation period key interventions will be in Agri-business Cluster formation, Financial Inclusion, Youth Inclusion, Women Economic Empowerment, Loyalty and Supply Chain Coordination,among others” he said.
He stated that 2SCALE in partnership with three business champions, Faranaya Agribusiness Centre, KEDAN Limited and Tamanaa Company Limited will help increase linkages among other value chain actors in Maize, Sorghum and Rice to ultimately lower supply chain risks, reduce costs, and increase access to finance among other issues.
Mr Zakaria noted that the five-year project which is the second phase of the 2SCALE programme would ensure that five PPPs were introduced.
He further indicated that the project was targeted at increasing yields of 50,000 smallholder farmers of which 50 percent were cultivating 30,000 hectares of land.
“Furthermore, it is an opportunity for SMEs in the value chain to gain access to new markets, financing, and technology to transform their businesses,” he added.
The Country Team Leader explained that the effect is that smallholder farmers will be able to produce quality raw materials to meet the new market demand to increase their livelihoods and income levels.
According to him, 2SCALE focuses on incubating and accelerating a portfolio of PPPs for inclusive businesses in agriculture food sectors and industries including protein and animal products, staple crops, fresh produce and oil seeds.
The Business Development Officer of Tamanaa Company Limited,producers of NASIA STAR brands of rice and rice blend,Mr Alidu Tia explained that through the partnership with 2SCALE,for the past five years it has been producing 90,000 metric tons of rice annually through its sustainable out grower scheme.