The Deputy Africa Regional Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Dr Lamourdia Thiombiano, has commended an agribusiness company operating in Ghana, B-BOVID, for its innovative and unique agriculture model that seeks to promote sustainable agriculture, food security and eliminate poverty among farmers.
He lauded the company's profit-sharing component, stating that, “It is a difficult task for any businessman to share profit,” and encouraged other businesses, particularly those in the agricultural sector, to consider the profit-sharing model to improve the lives of farmers.
Dr Thiombiano gave the commendation when he visited B-BOVID to familiarise himself with the operations of the company and its various adapted models meant to make agriculture more attractive and dignified.
He said if such innovations and models were emulated and implemented on a large scale, agriculture could not be classified as a “suffering or unpaid” sector but a sector with many opportunities for employment and wealth creation.
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He also said the FAO would soon establish a Community Development Centre aimed at giving an integrated approach to farming, adding; “The B-BOVID example is worth learning from.”
Mr Issa Ouedraogo, Founder and Chief Executive of B-BOVID, said it was worrying that farmers continued to swim in abject poverty despite their enormous contribution to society.
He expressed the belief that the over 65 per cent of the African population who were farmers could have a better lifestyle, adding “We all need to grow together.”
Mr Ouedraogo said Ghana had super weather and soil which should enable it to become food-sufficient, pointing out that “at B-BOVID, we use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems through innovation and technology in agriculture”.
B-BOVID's model, which is the first of its kind in Ghana, runs a palm oil and palm kernel oil mill, an ICT centre for agriculture, which is the first in the country; an Alternative Livelihood Centre, agricultural mechanisation centre in the Central and Western regions, animal husbandry as well as poultry and aquaculture, among others.
Other projects currently underway include: a farmers’ shop, an organic supermarket and an organic restaurant.
Mr Ouedraogo said the company was introducing farmers, particularly the youth, to modern transformative and innovative agriculture that would transform subsistence farming into commercial activity in the communities.
B-BOVID's social inclusive concept can be replicated across Ghana and the sub-region; and it is for this reason that the concept was among the case studies during the launch of the Global Compact Network Ghana in 2014.
The award-winning company’s farm also serves as a demonstration centre for those who wish to diversify agriculture, especially the rural communities, and for those who wish to replicate the concept. Reproducing and supporting this initiative will improve the livelihood of the rural poor since agriculture plays a crucial role in the country’s major socio-economic development objectives.