This year’s annual National Food and Agric Show (FAGRO 2017) was held at the Tamale Sports Stadium from the 26th to 30th September, 2017. The event, having gained prominence from its previous years drew in several participants both institutional and individual from across the country. Kosmos Energy participated in this year’s event and was represented at the event by Mr. George Sarpong, Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Agric Specialist and other staff members. Team Unlimited, one of the finalists in the just ended KIC AgriTech Challenge 2017 was present to support KIC on this event.
The program was well attended by key stakeholders in the Agriculture space, including representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and farming District Assemblies such as East Gonja, Savelugu and Sagnarigu. Other attendees included Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), private stakeholders such as John Deere, Africa Lead, IWAD, Dizengoff and players from the financial sector such as Barclays Bank and Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).
The opening ceremony was addressed by a representative of the Vice President of Ghana, the Northern Regional Minister and the Ambassador of Netherlands. The key message delivered revolved around the theme ‘Creating jobs through agriculture’. The speakers stressed on the need to take advantage of the emerging markets in Northern Ghana to create a hub for agricultural expansion for Ghana and beyond.
There were over 40 exhibition booths occupied by both government and private stakeholders in the agricultural industry, spread across the entire value chain. Patronage at the show was very high. Participants were mostly natives of Tamale with a few from other parts of the country. Organization of the exhibition booths was excellent. Exhibitions ranged from a show of livestock such as sheep, goats and fish and other farm products such as seeds and tubers to farm equipment such as tractors and harvesters and even financial packages for farmers.
Kosmos Energy exhibited on the Kosmos Innovation Center, namely around what the AgriTech Challenge and the KIC Business Booster were about. The team presented a compelling message, catching the attention of several participants at the event. The Regional Minister was particularly enthralled at the KIC journey and expressed deep interest in the program. The KIC booth had over 80 visitors with very positive reviews.
The KIC team led an interactive session hosted by FAGRO on the second day of the programm. Key issues discussed included the lack of youth interest in agriculture and how this is influenced by negative impressions imbibed in students from the classrooms. The need for intensive training of the trainer sessions to re-educate ‘Agric’ teachers on relevant teaching skills that can stimulate the interest of students in agriculture was stressed. The team from Kosmos introduced participants of the session to the vast opportunities in the Agriculture space including KIC. Proposals to institute ‘Agric clubs’ in the secondary schools to help kindle interest in students was recommended at this session.
The Kosmos team ended its exhibition with participants largely enthused at the intensity of the Incubation and Acceleration programs particularly with Abdul Haqq being a direct beneficiary of the program and a native of the North. The National Food and Agric Show 2017, offered Kosmos Innovation Center, a good platform for introducing the Impact Investing concept. Visitors to the Kosmos booth were introduced to the KIC Agritech Challenge and the Accelerator Program. Most of the visitors to the KIC booth had prior knowledge of KIC and a few mentioned that they had already put in applications. Specific mention was made of Trotro Tractor Limited which seems to have made waves with their business model. Indeed, Kosmos Innovation Center is investing in Ghana’s future ‘One Entrepreneur at a Time’. Click here for pictures of the event