Cecil Sunkwa-Mills (standing), Vice-President of the Chamber, addressing the potential members at the onboard meeting
Cecil Sunkwa-Mills (standing), Vice-President of the Chamber, addressing the potential members at the onboard meeting

Ensuring agribusiness thrives: Ghana seeks to tap from Nebraska State's best practice

It is generally agreed that agribusiness is the key to stemming the growing unemployment situation in the country. 

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The truism in that accession lies in the fact that Ghana is an agrarian country with vast agriculturally potential fertile land, which is heavily patronised by both smallholder and commercial farmers.

However, the area that is yet to gain traction is the business side of agriculture – the value-added activities that hold the potential for faster growth in the sector. It is to capitalise on this almost virgin area that Ghana seeks to tap from the highly sophisticated agricultural sector of the Nebraska State in the United States to leapfrog the agribusiness sector.

Known for its high technology in agriculture in general and agribusiness especially, Nebraska comes in handy in Ghana's quest to scout for best practices in that sector.

Chamber

This has led to the birth of the Ghana-Nebraska Agribusiness Growth and Trade Relations Chamber (GNEBCHAM) with the goal of promoting agribusiness growth and trade between the Republic of Ghana and the State of Nebraska, in the United States.

Scheduled to be officially launched in Accra on July 17, 2024, the chamber has the mission to specifically facilitate mutual resource, skill and knowledge exchanges to enhance trade, export and food production in all areas of agriculture between the partners, and for international market opportunities.

Establishing the chamber is with the belief that by fostering collaboration and partnerships between Ghanaian and Nebraskan agribusinesses, we can create a sustainable and prosperous future for both regions.

The chamber is committed to facilitating networking opportunities between Ghanaian and Nebraskan agribusinesses to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing, provide access to resources and expertise that will help agribusinesses in both regions to improve their production and trade capabilities, as well as advocate for policies that support the growth of agribusiness and trade between Ghana and Nebraska.

Riding on the back of a Ghanaian-based non-governmental agricultural social impact, capacity building, innovation and project management organisation, Agrihouse Foundation, with equal commitment from a single Nebraskan legislator Senator Ken Schilz, the chamber will have a special focus on changing the perception of, and consciously shape the conversation on agriculture.

These, the chamber hopes to achieve through the promotion of people-impact initiatives and programmes for students, women, farmers, farming associations, agribusinesses and the entire actors within the value chain.

The chamber is positioning itself as a galvanising force for the mobilisation of those in the agribusiness space both in Ghana and the Nebraska State to grow.

Committees

While official preparation for the launch is underway, being marshalled by a 14-member interim Executive Board led by a multi-talented Consulting, Financial advisory and transformational Coach, Doris Ahiati, the chamber is undertaking an aggressive membership mobilisation drive.

Currently, the 14-member interim board has set up various committees to ensure that the foundation is solidly laid for the take-off of the chamber. In so doing, committees have been set up and the board members shared on the various committees, depending on their professional strength, to enable them to bring their expertise to bear on the chamber.

The chamber currently has two Executive Directors - Alberta Nana Akosa and Senator Ken Schilz- running the daily affairs in Ghana and Nebraska respectively.

Membership of the chamber is opened to academic and research institutions, organisations, small and medium enterprises, individuals and students in the area of agriculture and agribusinesses, who will be required to pay annual dues depending on the category a member finds themselves.

Becoming a member of GNEBCHAM opens an array of benefits designed to enhance members’ business successes such as networking opportunities, education, exchange programmes, marketing and promotion opportunities.

Membership benefits

For instance, members, depending on membership category, have the opportunity to participate in the annual Husker Harvest Days in Nebraska. The annual Husker Harvest Days usually create a platform where stakeholders in the agricultural value-chain and policymakers network, share best practices and hold business-to-business (B2B) meetings to help build relationships and boost the interests of both nations for the benefit of farmers and agribusinesses.

On board meeting

As part of preparations for the official launch, the board members, last Wednesday, organised an onboarding meeting for potential members. The meeting created a platform where the potential members were briefed about the chamber, its aims and purpose and what they stood to gain by joining.

The Vice-President of the Chamber, Cecil Sunkwa-Mills, and a Co-Executive Director, Alberta Nana Akyea Akosa, outlined some of the benefits members of the chamber stood to gain.

Mr Sunkwa-Mills advised the applicants to take time to fill out their membership forms and carefully read through the information packs handed to them.

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