Join the Farm Channel and Praxis Africa on Tuesday June 24 at the Civil Servant Association Conference room opposite the Ministries Taxi Rank on 24th June, 2014, at 2pm. To learn more about our new media partnership with Mulit TV.
Practical Tips for Ghanaian Farmers
By GaiangelaFarming is one of Ghana's main economy boosters, it represents 22.7% of our GDP, and so it is not also a traditional career, but it is also quite fruitful. If you have a farm or wish to start one, here are some important tips to help you gain more profit of your field.
Do market research - not all farmers grow the same crops and certain vegetables and fruits are required more than others. By conducting some research you will find out what are the best products to grow in terms of number of competitors, demand for the product, the amount of time it takes to grow them. Talk to other growers, buyers, and farmers, listen to their suggestions and always pay attention to food trends.
Diversify your marketing Strategy - When it comes to selling products, diversify your marketing strategy so that if one buyers doesn’t purchase you have other options. Devise a strategy to sell part to a marketer, processing factory or a market women., Leave part of your production aside to sell yourself at farmers markets and even in classifieds sites where there is even a section dedicated to agriculture. Indeed, this will allow you to diversify your marketing strategy so you are not relying on a single end market to sell your product.
Start small to think big – overdoing it is the worst thing you can do. Test the market and learn about the crops and available markets for your crop before you limit yourself to growing just one crop. Identify different end markets, and learn the product specifications FIRST before you begin to grow a specific crop.
Build a brand personality - To have a strong brand personality will make people notice and remember you more. What does this mean? For example at the farmers market, design your stand and your logo, using strong and happy colors to gain attention. Also, use your personality and always have a positive attitude, customers will appreciate you more; build a relationship with them: share information about your farm, connect with them, sharing for example a special recipe or pictures of the place where your products come from.
Mingle - As a final tip, don’t be afraid to relate with other farmers: collaborations are always a great way to success! If there are other farmers near you, a good idea is to start some sort of agricultural cooperative, so in this way you can all gather funds to buy equipment and sell your products all together at a larger scale without the need of retailers.
The Farm Channel has relationships with AdFarm and Praxis Strategy Group in the North America. In January a delegation came to Ghana to learn about agriculture and establish educational partnerships. Watch this short documentary on the education project and our connection with agriculture, to learn more about the The Farm Channel’s partners.
At the end of January The Farm Channel hosted a delegation of Canadian and American agribusiness professionals. Below is a post from Les Kahl, Managing Partner, US at AdFarm, one of our partners.
By Les Kahl.
Last week I was in Ghana. Before I left I really had no idea what to expect. I suppose I had some stereotypes in my mind, but other than that I was going in terribly ignorant. Our entourage consisted of AdFarmers, educators and we were later joined by folks from the North Dakota Trade Office. Traveling in a large group of North Americans while in Ghana had both its advantages and challenges but that’s another post.
While in Ghana we spent most of our time in the southern, rural farming region near the capital city Accra. The areas we experienced were made up of beautiful countryside, rolling hills and natural vegetation. We drove through small towns and villages – all with different standards of housing, but the majority of shelters were very small half-finished structures, re-purposed shipping containers or mud huts. The deeper we got into the rural areas the rougher the roads became. Heavy machinery is almost nonexistent. Anything that would be handled by machines and a trained crew in North America like road repair, was done by hand.
Almost all the farming we witnessed (small or large operations), was done by hand. Clearing, planting, spraying, harvesting – all of it. Mechanized help just doesn’t exist. Even if there were machines available getting a consistent supply of quality fuel is very difficult, and then there is the question of maintenance… It’s a very different then the North American agriculture sector.
Agriculture in Ghana is full of potential. Quality land and an irrigation source (the largest man-made lake in the world, Lake Volta,) make it ripe for advancement. I hope the farmers of Ghana will soon be growing more food not only for themselves but the rest of the world as well. I’ll be watching Ghana grow with great interest over the next few years.
By: Mankama Sulemana, Co-Founder of Clash International
The importance of agriculture to the development of Ghana is irrefutable. It was a topic of much discussion and debate in our recent election and has become even more so as the questions of Ghana’s food security and food price hikes become increasingly tangible. Agriculture is a unique force of development, because it not only provides a source of income; it provides a source of sustenance. However, how we can ensure that it provides both of these things for the almost 25 million people living in Ghana is not a simple undertaking.
It is important that we don’t set our sights too narrowly in times like this. We have to consider all types of farmers—those specializing in cocoa, cassava, maize, tomatoes, and all of the other crops for which our soil is efficient in producing. While some crops may be valuable to our international market, others are valuable within the nation. We must also think of those who rear animals—chickens, goats, cattle, etc. The same rules apply. Diverse agriculture creates a healthy market that does not hinge on the success of a single value chain, but spreads, and simultaneously minimizes, this risk out over a number of value chains. Even more importantly, diverse agriculture creates a healthy people with access to the foodstuff necessary for a balanced diet.
In turn, we must consider all scales of farmers. Our medium and small-scale farmers are as invaluable to our agricultural success as our large farmers. They each have the potential to produce that much more foodstuff, to feed that many more people, to make the industry that much more full proof. Expanding the agricultural sector is a monumental task that could be more effectively tackled if spread out among all farmers. If our medium and small-scale farmers were able to produce on the level of our larger-scale farmers, or at least with the same efficiency, this would result in exponential growth within the sector. Given the success of our current large-scale farmers, it’s obvious that the knowledge and resources already exist within our nation. That’s something we should be proud of. Now all we need to do is maximize these potentials.
Mankama Sulemana is an agriculturalist specializing in maize, roots, and tuber crops and animals rearing, a graduate of the University for Development Studies, and the co-founder of Clash International.
Clash International is a non-profit organization concerned with cross-cultural understanding and partnership, seeking to find solutions to community-identified challenges through a development culture that is collaborative, self-sufficient, and sustainable.