On the 6th February 2021, Green Gold Farms Ghana was featured on CNN International. This media feature was in recognition of the company as an Agritech company, revolutionizing Ghana’s agricultural industry.
In recent years, a number of innovative entrepreneurs have stepped in to help reverse the decline in Ghana’s agriculture. In 2020, Green Gold Farms Ghana became the country’s largest soybean farm, employing over 400 people with 63,000 acres of farmland.
In an interview with CNN, the Founder and CEO Green Gold Farms Ghana, George Boakye Sarpong, envisioned a growing movement within the country to make agriculture a gateway to economic growth. He further stated, “My question has always been, in a country where there is so much rich, fertile, arable land and abled bodies, why do we need to import so much food? Why can’t we produce it ourselves and create jobs? I founded Green Gold Farms to answer these questions.”
His believes, vision and mission were strongly backed by the Senior Social Protection Specialist of the World Bank, Christabel Dadzie, who emphasized the traditional challenges of youth and female unemployment in the solved by farming. In her interview, she stated that women have a challenge accessing jobs, and youth unemployment and underemployment were high. Of the 250,000 young people who enter the job market each year, just about 2% or 5,000 find work in the formal sector.
Christabel Dadzie believes agriculture can play a major role in addressing this problem. She also indicated that, studies conducted at the World Bank shows agribusiness as one of the highest job multipliers of any industry in the private sector in Ghana.
With 60 percent of the continent’s population under 24 – farm employees like Pearl Amanor-Dede – Farm Manager for our Eastern Region Farms – are much younger than the stereotypical idea of the average African farmer who is 60 years old.
Large scale commercial farms are rare in Ghana with most farms averaging less than 4 acres. The manual approach of small-scale farmers such as Kofi Larbi is backbreaking, unprofitable and a largely thankless task.
To address this challenge, the Chief Finance Officer of Green Gold Farms Ghana, Kwame Marfo disclosed how the company plan on using regenerative agriculture to boost socio, political and economic growth. In his explanation, he clearly stated that by using regenerative agriculture, the company will focus on improving soil health with practices such as avoiding the use of mineral fertilizers, synthetic pesticides and herbicides.
This means sacrificing yields in the short term. However, increasing organic matter in the soil leads to more nutrient-dense food, with a higher nutrient retention capacity and reduced water usage and less soil erosion. This leads to long term and more sustainable boost in yields, profitability and resiliency of Green Gold Farms and other local small-scale farms in the rural communities we operate.
Green Gold Farms Ghana has made tremendous strides on its journey. After two years of research and development, it officially began operations in March 2020 during the first week of the global lock down. 70% of its workers are women just like their casual worker Hawa Ibrahim – 19-year-old high school student with hopes of becoming a nurse – paying them wages that are 50% above market rates.
In conclusion, agriculture is one sector where Green Gold Farms Ghana hopes to compete favorably with the world – and generate wide social, political and economic benefits to able to feed Ghana. The company has relatively low labor costs, abundant sunshine, water, diverse agro-ecological richness, a large amount of fertile land and increasing access to technological use.
The best part is there are legions of dynamic agri-entrepreneurs with fire in their bellies raring to grab a piece of this sector with massive potential.
A favorable policy environment, access to capital and technology will do the sector a great deal of good.
“We are excited for what the future holds, because our future is bright” he stated.
By Simon Unyan