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NDTO News Article

FAGRO 2011 Offers Opportunity for North Dakota Companies to Explore Ghanaian Market

As we mentioned in our previous NDTO News article Relationship between North Dakota and Ghana Grows, the West African country of Ghana is an emerging hot spot of opportunity for U.S. companies.  The 2011 National Food and Agriculture Show (FAGRO), Ghana’s only national agriculture fair, will be held Oct. 7-16 in Accra.  FAGRO 2011 will create a powerful platform for companies who want to enter or develop their business in the rapidly-growing West African marketplace. 

With a 2011 launch to North American businesses, FAGRO organizers hope to heighten international interest in the show and Ghana’s agricultural potential within the farm machinery and equipment, agricultural inputs, farm/agribusiness services and agricultural commodities and value-added sectors.

North Dakota-based AdFarm and Praxis Strategy Group have been proactively cultivating a relationship with Ghana, and they feel the time is right for companies to begin exploring this growing market. 

“Ghana is positioned for strong economic growth over the next five years especially in the agriculture sector, as they solidify their position as a middle income country. This is an excellent opportunity for North Dakota companies to get involved in a vibrant economy at the early stages and meet market demands for agricultural technologies,” said Roger Reierson, CEO of AdFarm.

North Dakota companies involved in the following should consider participation in FAGRO 2011:

  • Irrigation Systems and Waste Management
  • Soil Amendment Expertise
  • Bio Fertilizers/Pesticide
  • Hybrid Seeds/ Seed Technology
  • Greenhouse, Poly house Technology/Nurseries
  • Hydroponics
  • Horticulture Production & Management
  • Agriculture Best Management Practices
  • Agric Implements
  • Post-Harvest Management – Warehousing, Cold Storage, Pack House Operations
  • Product/Process Quality Assurance
  • Agriculture/Horticulture/Food Processing Training Institutes for Human Resource Development
  • Commercial Dairy Operations/Production Techniques, Milk Handling, Storing, Production
  • Livestock Management & Services – Technology, Poultry/Cattle Feed (Enzymes, Pro-Biotics) 

Growing Opportunities in Ghana

Ghana is currently the second fastest-growing economy in the world. Due to the recent discovery of crude oil off the coast of Ghana, the country continues to strengthen its economic position and now has the potential to contribute to global energy security. With a GDP growth of 7 percent this year, Ghana is projected to be one of the top ten fastest growing economies from 2011-2015.

Agriculture is the livelihood of the Ghanaian economy; it accounts for 40 percent of GDP, 60 percent of the labor force employment and 57 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.  Currently, the agriculture sector is averaging a 5.7 percent annual growth.

About 90 percent of farm holdings are less than two hectares (approximately five acres) in size, although there are some large farms and plantations, particularly for rubber, oil palm and coconut and to a lesser extent, rice, maize and pineapples.  The main system of farming is traditional, with the hoe and cutlass as standard farming tools.

But, Ghana is ready for change – they believe the only way for continued economic growth is through a modernized, vibrant and competitive agricultural industry.  An agribusiness modeled after successful regions such as North Dakota.

“North Dakota is a world leader in agricultural technology and agribusiness models, and there is a current demand in Ghana for our expertise in small and medium sized production technologies as they transition from subsistence to mechanized farming.  There is an opportunity for us to adapt our methods to meet the demands of the Ghanaian agribusiness sector and develop mutually beneficial economic relationships,” said Delore Zimmerman, CEO Praxis Strategy Group.

For North Dakota, the opportunities are vast.   As a leader in U.S. agriculture, we can have an enormous impact on Ghana.  The U.S. has already tapped into the agricultural equipment market, with $1.7 million in used tractors imported from the U.S. in 2010.  Other potential opportunities exist for U.S. exporters of wheat and canola.  Canada currently supplies Ghana with the bulk of its wheat, with approximately $9.3 million being imported into Ghana from Canada in 2010.  Additionally, through education on North Dakota farming techniques, companies can help Ghanaians with their ultimate goal:  to support Ghana’s rapidly growing agricultural sector with information on modern production practices that are low cost and environmentally sustainable. 

Background on FAGRO

The National Food and Agriculture Show, or FAGRO, is an agricultural trade event that brings together various stakeholders throughout the agricultural sector, both domestically and internationally. As Ghana’s only national agribusiness show, the event showcases technologies, trends in agricultural marketing, farm business management and production practices.  FAGRO profiles over 250 exhibitors from around the world and features agricultural seminars to highlight industry innovations. Organized every year since 2009 in the city of Accra, FAGRO serves as a direct link between farmers and experts with an objective of spreading sustainable agriculture throughout West Africa. 

Now in its third year, FAGRO 2011 is adding an interactive layer.  Complementing FAGRO’s information-sharing platform, Farm Channel is a multi-media communications initiative that will supply year-round information that will reach millions of farmers and farm villages throughout Ghana while creating an industry network important to agricultural, food and rural development. Mediums will include television shows, mobile content, radio programs, internet publications and live events.

The event is organized by Praxis Strategy Group, Farm Channel, Praxis Africa, The Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fisherman, Infocus PR and the Ministry of Food & Agriculture.

How to Get Involved

There are several ways for companies to get involved in FAGRO 2011.  Those who are ready to introduce their company to the West African market can exhibit at the event.  Booth spaces range in cost from $500 to $1,500 USD.

 Companies who would like to get an overview of the Ghanaian Agricultural Sector can participate in the Ghana Trade Mission sponsored by Praxis Strategy Group, AdFarm and Praxis Africa.  The itinerary for this trip includes participation in the National Food and Agricultural Trade Fair, the opportunity to display in the North American Pavilion, meetings with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, input companies and processing facilities, farm visits, and meeting with industry and agricultural leaders.  The trip will take place from Oct. 6 – 17, 2011.

To learn more about FARGRO 2011 or the Ghana Trade Mission, contact Richelle Matthews, Praxis Strategy Group, at 403-410-7659 or  Registration for the event and trade mission closes on September 15, 2011.