Who: Ghana Grains Council, United States
Agency for International Development (USAID), Image-Ad
What, Why, When: The Ghana Grains Council
with financial support from the USAID launched mFarms1,
a digital platform, in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana
during its annual pre-harvest agribusiness fair in October. The
function of mFarms is to provide agribusiness services which links
all the principal players across the entire agriculture value chain
with the long-term goal of driving efficiency and increasing food
Outlook: The agricultural sector in Ghana
remains one of the major drivers of the economy and accounts for
45%2 of all employment in the country. According to
the Ghana Statistical Service, the agricultural sector positioned
second with 4.6% growth after the services sector's 5.7% in
2014. Total revenues generated over the same period by the
agro-sector (crops, livestock, forestry and fishing) stood at US$6m
in 2014 against US$5m in 2013. That said, according to Ghana's
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), the
agro-sector's contributions to national GDP declined from 31.8%
in 2009 to 20.6% in 2014. This decline has been attributed to
several factors such as the change in commodity prices on the
international markets. Domestically, some critical issues include
land disputes, a dearth of farm inputs, changing environmental
patterns affecting rainfall, inadequate irrigation systems and a
knowledge gap in new technologies to boost production.
However, the advent of new technology platforms such as mFarms,
is beginning to play a critical role in the agribusiness value
chain. Farmers are leveraging on this new platform to plug the gap
in the shortage of, for example, agricultural extension officers
who educate farmers on best agricultural practices. As it stands
now, some sources indicate that the ratio of extension officers to
famers in Ghana is 1 to 10003, which is woefully
inadequate compared with global standards of 1 to 4504.
Ghana is home to other agribusiness content platforms such Esoko
and Farmerline, which provide services both inside and outside of
Ghana. It must be stated with the spate of entrepreneurial activity
on the ascendancy in Ghana, the youth is using digital platforms to
create agribusiness trading logistical apps that will increase
market access by bringing agro products closer to consumers.
Organisations such Lundin, Acumen, Kosmos Innovation Centre and
Agro Mindset Group are working hard to make agribusiness an
attractive venture for the teeming youth through education.
This is the second of two articles, which provide an overview of two ‘self-help' remedies available under the general law in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for the unpaid and, no doubt, disgruntled contractor.
In recent years the construction sector has seen a return to growth in the Middle East and this has led to renewed interest in the licensing regime in the region for contractors and consultants/engineers.
In terms of the Consumer Protection Act which will become law in October this year, Home Owners Associations will also be regarded as ‘suppliers’ of services and thus home owners as their consumers, can exercise their consumer rights against such HOA.
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