Center in Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), Ghana’s only Total Beverage business has urged investors and technical experts to look to the agriculture sector for greater return on their investments in Ghana. The brewery giant made this call at the 5th Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Boot camp held at the Kofi Annan ICT Accra.
The event, aimed at training entrepreneurs’ through critical thinking exercises and business framework modelling to build a sustainable venture in the agribusiness supply chain, while building wealth in their community. Participants gained insight from industry experts addressing supply chain management, supplier development, value-addition, and partnerships.
Sharing the Manufacturing industry experience with participants, Gabriel Opoku-Asare - Corporate Relations Director of GGBL said, “Right government policies are essential in developing agribusiness in Ghana; for example since the passage of the Customs and Excise (Duties & Other Taxes) (Amendment) Act, (Act 855) in 2012, crops such as sorghum, maize and cassava have become commercially viable for a many farmers. GGBL as a guaranteed off taker, uses these crops for the production of our premium products. Currently, we have increased the amount of local raw materials in our brands from 12% in 2012 to 48% with a commitment to achieve an 80% target by 2020. This requires significant investment in farmer education, yield and quality improvement that will ensure consistent supply of local raw materials for innovation and brand re-engineering.
We have seen transformation in the livelihoods of farmers, the community and the Agric sector as a whole in other parts of Africa where Diageo also operates. For this reason we encourage ‘agripreneurs’ who have the technical know-how and resources to invest in commercial agriculture which will bring enormous benefits to local farmers, the community and the country as a whole”.
Organisers of the programme, Diaspora Angel Investment Network (DAIN) were particularly excited about GGBL’s progress in the area of agribusiness. Nii Simmonds, Program Director of the Network added, ‘It is exciting to see the potential that agriculture has in Ghana. The gap still remains in encouraging entrepreneurs to move from subsistent practices to commercial farming, the knowledge they require and the likely outcome if all is done right. That is why we have consistently engaged youthful potentials to grow their minds and help them achieve such successes in the area of agribusiness. A 5th edition only means, more people are hungry for such knowledge and that is what we are here to do. Such great insights from GGBL also boost the morale of these entrepreneurs and I am glad they could share it.’
A participant at the event, Anita Ansong, also shared her excitement. ‘I came for this event to be guided on starting an agribusiness on my own. Guinness Ghana painted a very realistic picture and I actually saw more business opportunities which I can tap into. I am very inspired and I think it’s possible for me to start something especially in the cassava industry.’
GGBL is a subsidiary of Diageo PLC and currently engages over 16,000 small scale farmers across Ghana.
Brands fully utilizing locally sourced materials include Ruut Extra, made from cassava, Top Malt and Guinness Africa Special from sorghum mostly sourced from the Northern part of Ghana.
Star Beer, Star Lite, Malta, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Gulder have also been re-engineered to include local raw materials.