From left, Thomas Abanga, CEO of Abanga Group, Dr.Henry Musa Kpaka(middle),Minister, Agriculture and Food Security, Sierra Leone, and Dr Dorothy Nyambi,(right) President and CEO of MEDA
From left, Thomas Abanga, CEO of Abanga Group, Dr.Henry Musa Kpaka(middle),Minister, Agriculture and Food Security, Sierra Leone, and Dr Dorothy Nyambi,(right) President and CEO of MEDA

Abanga Farms partners MEDA to boost rice production in West Africa

Abanga Farms and Food Systems, a leading Ghanaian agribusiness entity has signed a partnership deal with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) to spearhead a transformative agricultural initiative in Mano River Countries in West Africa.


The countries in the Mano River Basin include Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The deal when successful is expected to provide over 250,000 jobs to the youth and women over the next five years in the beneficiary countries.

Seventy per cent of the jobs would be allocated to the youth and 30 per cent for young women, thereby promoting gender inclusivity and equitable participation in the agricultural sector in the countries.

The Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Abanga Group of companies, Dr.Thomas Abanga, made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

He said the implementation of the Mano River Rice Initiative was expected to yield substantial reductions in rice imports, with a targeted decrease of 50 per cent as well as harness the untapped potential of rice production within the Mano River Basin.

By bolstering local production capacities, Dr Abanga observed that Sierra Leone stood poised to achieve greater self-sufficiency and reduce dependency on external sources.

He explained that the initiative was a collaborative effort of  SEND Ghana, the German Agency for International Cooperation(GIZ), Mountain Lion, a non-profit organisation and Africa Rice an agricultural research institution.

He said the Abanga Farms and Food Systems, was a key driver of the initiative.


The CEO said Abanga Farms was playing a pivotal role to ensure the cultivation of 50,000 hectares of land in Sierra Leone, to usher in a new era of agricultural innovation and efficiency. 

“Notably, Abanga Farms aims to leverage a 60 per cent increase in mechanisation throughout the production and processing stages, thereby streamlining operations and optimising output” he stated.

As part of the preparatory phase, Dr Abanga revealed that representatives from the Abanga Group, alongside MEDA and other private sector collaborators, recently embarked on a visit to the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute. 

This strategic partnership, he observed, underscored a shared commitment to harnessing research and innovation to drive sustainable agricultural development.

“In the light of these developments, stakeholders across the agricultural spectrum are eagerly anticipating the commencement of the Mano River Rice Initiative.

With its potential to revolutionise rice cultivation practices, empower local communities, and foster economic resilience, this collaborative venture stands as a testament to the transformative power of strategic partnerships and visionary leadership in the realm of agribusiness” Dr Abanga further  stressed.

The CEO stated that as “Ghanaian entities take centre stage in this landmark initiative, the broader African continent looks on with anticipation, recognising the pivotal role that agricultural innovation plays in shaping a brighter future for generations to come.”

Ghana initiatives

Abanga Farms subsidiaries of the Abanga Group, has ongoing projects in Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and other communities in Northern Ghana. 

These include rice, Maize, soya and cashew.

It was because of the massive project rollout in Ghana that got the Abanga Farms to secure funding to roll out the Mano River Rice Initiative.

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