PEVVA Outgrower Training
- Vegetable Outgrowers (SMEs) Capacity Building
As part of efforts to increase the yields and profitability of the peri-urban vegetable outgrowers, Agri-Impact Consult in collaboration with GhanaVeg have outlined technical and managerial capacity building programs and activities for 100 outgrowers in Accra. Training activities are being organized for the out-growers on their farms at Dzorwulu and Atomic respectively, to build their capacities and handhold them in the farming activities. The outgrowers are being trained in topics such as the following;
- Farming as a Business
- Record Keeping
- Pre-Production Planning
- Nursery and seedling Management
- Early detection of pests and diseases
- Identification & management of pests and diseases
- Harvesting and post-harvest practices for intensive vegetable production
- Developing business plan
- Financial management
- Outgrowers Technical visit to Agri-Impact Entrepreneurship and Technology Incubator (AETI)
In its bid to stimulate innovation within the farmers and to promote and share best farm practices, Agri-Impact Consult organized a 1-day tour and technical capacity building activity for the outgrowers at the Agri-Impact Entrepreneurship and Technology Incubator (AETI), at Berekusu. The specific objective of this activity was to afford the farmers the opportunity to learn new improved and effective technologies in vegetable farming, as being applied at the AETI, and commercialize on their farms, while in a relaxed environment. The tour recorded about 76 attendees from Dzorwulu and Atomic.
During the visit, the farmers were conducted round the AETI facility, which housed the greenhouses and open field farms of Agri-Imapct Consult. The farmers were enlightened on basic greenhouse farming activities which they could commercialize on their farms such as trellising, pruning, effective fertigation etc. Also, the farmers encountered new ways of growing vegetables such as lettuce in gallons and plastics using decomposed rice husk.
This aim of the exercise was to expose the farmers to good farm practices and new mediums which they can use to increase their yield and profitability. It was noted that these practices and mediums increase the resistance of the crops to certain diseases while at the same time limiting the amount of spraying required, thereby reducing cost and time. Ultimately, the farmers were made to understand that using these practices and medium help them produce high quality crops fit for the market.
- Outgrowers interface with Agricultural development bank and Star Assurance Company
Few farmers and small scale entrepreneurs have access to a bank or savings account. They lack confidence to open an account or banks are just too far away. Very few farmers and small scale entrepreneurs have access to credit because they lack necessary collaterals. Banks have very few credit, savings and insurance products adapted to the needs of farmers and small scale entrepreneurs. Farmers and small scale entrepreneurs lack good skills to manage a loan, to save or to invest.
These financing gaps and challenges are what Agri-Impact sought to address when it organized the interface meeting between the outgrowers and the Financial institution responsible for agriculture financing, the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB).
Funding was noted to be an integral necessity for start-ups and scaling out businesses, hence amongst the objectives of the interface meeting was to introduce the outgrowers to financial products, services, and packages available for their businesses. Specifically, the platform was intended to afford the bank and the outgrowers the opportunity to discuss mutual ways to develop tailor-made financial packages for the farmers, while teaching the on the basic requirements for credit and accessing available financial packages, such us proper records keeping.
Furthermore, risks associated with doing business, especially in farming, require insurance for businesses to safeguard investments and cover critical costs. Most notably, farmers face high risks in doing business, such as erratic rainfall patterns and climate change, on-farm and off-farm accidents etc. Regrettably, when faced with these risks, farmers are rendered helpless and end up losing their investments and left without any source of income for the entire period of the climate change or the period they use to get treatment for their accidents.
Borne out of the resolve to safeguard the livelihood and critical investments of the farmers, Agri-Impact Consult facilitated an interface between an Insurance Company, namely, Star Assurance Company, and the outgrowers. Among the objectives of this interface was for the company to present its policies and packages to the farmers and to allow the company to interact and understand the peculiar challenges of the farmers so they can collectively develop tailored packages that will suit the challenges the farmers faced.
In all, over 70 outgrowers, 7 staff from ADB and Star Assurance and Staff from Agri-Impact Consult, including the Executive Director of AIC, Mr Dan Acquaye attended the interface meeting. As an offshoot of this meeting, almost all the outgrowers have been linked to financial and insurance services with about 45 of them opening savings accounts with ADB and signing on to insurance packages.
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