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ND Companies Report Success during Ghana Trade Mission

Representatives from 10 North Dakota companies and organizations returned home last week after six days in Accra, Ghana, where they participated in the North Dakota – Ghana Trade Mission.

“With Ghana’s newly discovered petroleum reserves and active agriculture sector, there are incredible opportunities for North Dakota to partner closely with Ghana as the country reaches the next stage of development,” said Paul Taylor, Senior Commercial Officer with US Commercial Service in Accra.  “The trade mission was timed perfectly to begin the partnerships that will to real commercial results for North Dakota companies.”

The multi-sector trade mission included representatives from JM Grain, Central Valley Bean Co-op, Thorsgard Farms, RDO Equipment, Superior Manufacturing, Raven Industries, North Dakota State University and Fredrikson & Byron law firm.  The mission was led by North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO).

While in Ghana, commercial companies met with potential in-country partners during meetings coordinated by NDTO and the US Commercial Service in Ghana.  During the week, these companies quoted sales for approximately $1.3 million in commercial product.

Commodity producers and exporters set their sights on educating the Ghanaian market on the benefits of North Dakota’s healthy foods with a focus on pulse crops including beans, peas and lentils.  The North Dakota delegation worked with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in Ghana as well as the Ghanaian Ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Local Government to disseminate information on North Dakota pulses.  NDTO hosted a seminar and networking event in Accra at which Dr. Dil Thavarajah, Assistant Professor of North Dakota State University (NDSU), presented to local government agencies and buyers on these benefits; traditional Ghanaian dishes cooked with North Dakota food products were eaten during a networking luncheon.

“Ghana is a regional leader and trend setter.  The [North Dakota] team’s visit was well timed to look for opportunities in West Africa,” said Kurt Seifarth with FAS.  “When the discussions turned to nutrition and the pulses from North Dakota the importers and participants from the Ghanaian government took notice.  The countries across West Africa are looking for nutritious ways to feed their growing populations.”

While in Ghana, the North Dakota delegation intersected with a partner group led  by Fargo-headquartered AdFarm and Praxis Strategy Group, which was focused on education and agricultural communications.

NDTO and its partners plan to continue conversations with local government agencies to help draw demand for North Dakota foods in the Ghanaian market by means of school nutrition programs and other initiatives.

If you have any questions on the North Dakota-Ghana Initiative, please contact Brittany Posey at brittany@ndto.com

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Cozen O\'Connor