Market opportunity exists across all areas of agriculture in northern Ghana as demand grows and farming needs surge. Interventions from government and donor projects to support commercial agriculture in the SADA Zone have boosted production and marketing of crops such as maize, rice, and soy. Warehouse capacity in the Northern Region is at a premium, causing tremendous price volatility for those crops throughout the year due to limited availability shortly after the harvest is completed and all goods are sold. Mechanization services are also lacking, in Ghana in general and the northern regions in particular. As recently as 2011, Ghana had, on average, 11 tractors per 100 km, compared with 25 in Kenya, 43 in South Africa, 129 in Brazil, and 158 in India1. Making matters worse, the northern regions have even lower rates of mechanization than the south, and re-emergence of cotton production in the north has increased the already outsized demand for mechanization services. With the right linkages and support schemes established in these target VCs, investors can seize the opportunity to expand production and increase aggregation of maize, rice, and soy to meet demand by processors and consumers alike. Investors can also take advantage of the corresponding demand for warehouse capacity and mechanization services by farmers in the SADA Zone to increase production.
Talim Ventures Ltd. (TVL) is seeking $150,000 in working capital to support its comprehensive business plan, which is already financed. The company plans to develop 200 ha of its farmland, 100 of which will be for outgrowers and 100 for TVL’s nucleus farm. In particular, TVL has conducted an in-depth market analysis and identified rice production and processing as a key strategic focus (it already owns a rice mill and is looking to upgrade it). The company intends to provide technical training on protocols, outgrower management, relationship building and leadership skills for sustainability, women’s empowerment, and environmental permits. It will provide water management systems, including bunds and canals, and other mechanization services to help farmers increase production and tap Ghana’s growing demand for rice. TVL seeks to be a producer and aggregator/trader for maize, rice, and soy, a strategy that is perceptively timed given market dynamics for these products in northern Ghana.
TVL began operations in 2012 as a producer of maize and rice, provider of mechanization services to smallholder farmers, and an aggregator. It is located in Kogni, a suburb of Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana. TVL is positioning itself as the leading agribusiness center in northern Ghana for supply of high-quality grains and cereals (maize, rice, and soy) and demand-driven, agribusiness-related products and services in Ghana.
TVL is seeking investment of $150,000 in working capital to NORThERN implement its comprehensive business plan and develop and
cultivate 200 ha of land acquired for maize, rice, and soy production by the company and its outgrowers.
TVL could benefit from the services of a BAS provider to help develop the necessary documentation to obtain finance from a financial institution.
The expansion project should be properly managed to avoid aggravating the deforestation of northern Ghana as a result of unorthodox farming practices. The technical services to be provided should include education on proper administration of fertilizer and other agrochemicals to prevent adverse effects on human health.
Several initiatives in the Northern Region have combined to create a business climate conducive TVL’s success:
- Rice Sector Support Project, Project for Sustainable Development of Rain-Fed Lowland Rice Production, and New Rice for Africa (NERICA) Rice Dissemination Project by MoFA
- USAID-ADVANCE II Project
- NGOs and MoFA have facilitated development of producer organizations and other primary stakeholder groups that are active at the community level. These groups have potential for technology transfer and an outgrowers’ scheme in collaboration with large-scale investors.
Janet Chigabatia-Adama, CEO, +233 (0) 244 316 758; firstname.lastname@example.org