Start of pilot Implementation of the Agribusiness Innovation Hub –iHub project by SavaNet-Ghana in the Upper East Region

ImageIntroduction

The Agribusiness Innovation Hub (iHub) was designed to offer skills training to youth on Agribusiness development. It was desighed to create the desired Agribusiness growth environment with pool of innovations tailored to drive the growth of Agribusinesses.

The iHub is a logical responds to addressing youth unemployment in Northern Ghana, that has led to an annual mass migration of more than 15,000 youth to urban cities In Southern Ghana in search of economic opportuities. www.csis.org/accras-kayayei, www.ghanatrade.gov.gh/trade-news/48-ghanaian-youth-jobless.

Start of Project Implementation

The Implementation of the flagship Agribusiness Innovation Hub – iHub project started in October 2017 in various communities in Builsa North, Builsa South and Bawku West districts of the Upper East Region of Ghana.

The implementation of the Agribusiness Innovation Hub – iHub project started with the introduction of the project in the various communities in which it will be implemented in the Builsa North, Builsa South and Bawku West districts of the Upper East Region.

In the Builsa South district, the iHub project is implemented in the following communities: Batuisa, Chongsa, Pintengsa, Singsangsa, Logmiisa, Kanjarga, Jiningsa and in Fumbisi. It is also implemented in various communities under: Siniensi, Chuchuliga and Wiaga in the Builsa North district.

The Agribusiness Innovation Hub – iHub project is implemented in various communities in the Bawku West district.

The project’s implementation contiuned with the profiling of various young Agri-enterpreneurs in the Builsa North, Builsa South and Bawku West districts of the Upper East Region.

Profiled young Agri-enterprenuers include: farmers, produce/product Aggregators, processors, Agro-input dealers, mechanization service providers, Headsmen, Poultry producers, etc. The iHub project has so far profiled 1,920 young Agri-enterpreneurs thus exceeding its  projected 1,500

The Agribusiness training activities of the iHub project is implemented by Agriculture Extension Agents (AEA’s) and heads of Extension of the Minstry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA). They are engaged by the project as Agribusiness Development Facilitators (ADF’s).

The iHub project has adopted the GrowthWheel 360 business development manuel for the screening of the various Agri-enterprises/enterpreneurs that the iHub project is working with in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

The GrowthWheel360 business development manuel has provided the iHub project a scoreboard to develop a visual profile of  how the various young Agri-enterprenurs are performing. It has also provided the iHub project the platform to identify the growth opportunities and obstacles to be addressed by the project with demand-driven Agribusiness development services.

The Agriculture Extension Agents (AEA’s) and the Heads of Extension of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) engaged by the iHub project, were trained and provided training materials on the GrowthWheel360 to enable them under take Agri-business screening activities.

Project Activities under Implementation

The following are project activities under implementation in the various communiities of the Builsa North, Builsa South and Bawku West districts.

  • Agribusiness Skills Training: The Agribusiness Development Facilitators (ADF’s) engaged by the iHub project provides young Agri-enterpreneurs with demand-driven training on Agribusiness development.

These demand-driven Agribusiness skills training is largely centered on: Business concept, Customer Relations, Business Organization and Business Operation. The training content is focused on the business development gaps identified during the GrowthWheel 360 business screening carried out by the projects Agribusiness Development Facilitators (ADF’s).

These demand driven Agribusiness skills training is carried out in the following communities: Batuisa, Chongsa, Pintengsa, Singsangsa, Logmiisa, Kanjarga, Jiningsa and in Fumbisi in the Builsa South District.

Young Agri-enterpreneurs in: Weiga, Chuchuliga and Siniensi also benefit from these demand-driven Agribusiness skills training activities. Young Agri-enterpreneurs in various communities in the Bawku west district are receiving  the iHub project’s demand driven Agribusiness skills training.

  • Facilitate Market Access for Young Agri-enterpreneurs: The iHub project facilitaes market access for young Agri-enterprenurs aimed at addressing the poor market access identifed during the GrowthWheel 360 business screening execise.

In promoting market access for young Agri-enterpreneurs, the project facilitate the development of resilent Agribusiness development value chains to provide the desired leverages for sustainable market access.

The project’s Agribusiness Development Facilitators (ADF’s) facilitate young Agri-enterpreneurs access to markets, untill they are able to deal with their customers efficently. The project will continue to assit young Agri-enterpreneurs with improved market access after its implementation to enhance the viablity of their Agri-enterprises                

  • Document Success and Challenge Stories:  The iHub project is currently documenting success and challenge stories on the business operations of young Agri-enterprenuers in its implementation communities in the Builsa North, Builsa South and Bawku West districts of the Upper East Region.

These documented success and challenge stories guides the iHub project in the delivery of its Agribusiness development services to young Agri-enterpreneurs for the growth of their Agri-enterprises.

These success and challenge stories are also shared with young Agri-enterpreneurs in the communities/districts to guide them in growing their Agri-enterprises.

             Project Monitoring

The implementation of the various activities of the Agribusiness Innovation Hub –iHub project are monitored to ensure that they are effectively implemented to achieve the desired impact.

The monitoring of the project’s implementation is supported by the Heads of Extension and District Directors of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in the various districts ( Builsa North, Builsa South and Bawku West) of its implementation in the Upper East Region.

The Project monitoring reports will guide the iHub project’s upscale in other regions of Ghana. These reports will also assit the project implementation partner (Ministry of Food and Agriculture) in providing Agribusiness Extension service to various young Agri-enterpreneurs.