Five SMEs receive $1,000 each to boost business

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FAO

Five youth-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture value chain have received a $1,000 dollar grant each from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to support and grow their businesses.

FAOThe businesses  are Sagrisalma Limited Company, FemfamLife, Tropical Snacks, Prosect Feed and Antanah Farms

The SMEs drawn from across the country emerged winners of a business pitch organised as part of the Agribusiness Catalyst programme – an initiative implemented by the FAO in collaboration with the Innohub Growth Centre.

Other businesses – Somfel Enterprise, LbH LC, and Mazia Co Enterprise – made it to the final but could not clinch the top prize, a brief shared with the Ghana News Agency indicated.

The Agribusiness Catalyst programme is a key initiative under the FAO’s project to empower young women and men in agribusiness to lead inclusive rural transformation in Africa.

The project falls under the FAO regional priority programme area on Decent Employment in Agrifood Systems.

It covers three target countries namely Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia, and aims to accelerate the youth-driven transformation of African agrifood systems, and recognise youth as change agents, and innovators.

Madam Janetta Carlucci, a representative of the FAO and a judge at the pitch, said the investment in youth-led SMEs in the agriculture value chain was part of the agenda to position Ghana as a key player in the global agribusiness value chain.

“As we proceed with today’s Pitch event, I encourage each participant to embrace this      opportunity fully. Your pitches not only represent your aspirations but also underscore the vital role of youth in driving sustainable development and food security,” she told the finalists.

Mr Nelson Amo, the Chief Executive Officer, Innohub, said the programme would create a revolving fund and provide competitive interest rates to 20 SMEs that participated in the project.

He encouraged young entrepreneurs in the agriculture value chain to “understand the power of focus” and pursue their core business objectives.

“They (SMEs) have other ideas which seem nice but will not bring value. If the businesses can focus on what they are doing, they can pursue growth. Growth is what pays off in entrepreneurship,” Mr Amo said.

Ms Thamar Victoria Afedu-Annan, the Chief Executive Officer, FemFarmLife, said the rising cost of farm inputs including fertilizer and services was a major disincentive to investing in farming.

She appealed to the Government to roll out initiatives that would specifically target youth-led SMEs in the agriculture sector to make the sector attractive to young people.

Mr Kwabena Tufuor, Chief Executive Officer, Prosect Feed, said the collapse of SMEs operating in the poultry sector should be a national concern.

“We are looking forward to collaborate with notable institutions and we appeal to all partners in the ecosystem to come and support us,” he said.

GNA

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