More than 90 exhibitors from twenty different countries are participating in the 7th West Africa Agrofood and Plastprintpack Fair.
The Agrofood and Plastprintpack Fair opened in Accra, Ghana with a call on countries in Africa to seize opportunities at the fair to increase self-sufficiency in the agriculture value chain.
The three-day conference from November 30 to December 1, 2022, was organised by Fairtrade Messe in collaboration with its local partner, Geovision.
The event is aimed at helping countries in the West African Sub-region to increase capacity and also improve supply in the agricultural sector.
In all, six countries will be mounting pavilions at this year’s exhibition. These are Germany, Italy, Iran, the Netherlands, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Over 90 exhibitors from 20 countries exhibited products, technologies and solutions specifically tailored for the West African market.
In his welcoming address, the Managing Director of Fairtrade Messe, Mr Paul Maerz, mentioned that the exhibitors come from countries including Belgium, Burkina Faso, Egypt, France, Ghana, Spain, Hungary, Sri Lanka Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
The rest are Ivory Coast, Italy, Morocco, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa and USA.
Mr Maerz said the West African market for agricultural technology has become very key with imports of agricultural machinery reaching around 200 million Euros annually.
“West Africa’s food & beverages technology imports increased by 5.8% annually from 496 million Euros to 694 million Euros in 2021,” he revealed.
He said West African imports of plastics technology accounted for 217 million Euros in 2020, having increased from 219 million Euros in 2018 to 263 million Euros in 2019.
He seized the opportunity to express gratitude to their Ghanaian partners including the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the Association of Ghana Industries, the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana and many others for their support.
Speaking for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the Director for Plants Protection Services, Mr Eric Bentsil Quaye, said agriculture is the backbone of Ghana’s economy and continues to contribute heavily to its Gross Domestic Product.
Mr Quaye said the sector also creates employment and generates income through export adding that farmers in the West African Sub-region and other places were facing loads of challenges due to Covid, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, armed conflicts in the sub-region and climate change.
He said all negative developments have brought about food insecurity in the sub-region.
However, he was happy to assert that the government of Ghana’s flagship programme of Planting for Food and Jobs has largely helped sustain the country’s food economy.
Mr Quaye said Ghana’s agriculture strategy synthesises the country’s policy framework and action plan for attaining self-sustained growth in all the agriculture sub-sectors and also reduce the importation of inorganic fertilisers by encouraging the private sector to invest in organic compost.
“We have also built adequate warehouses to address post-harvest losses often associated with the harvest,” he said.
He described the trade conference as ‘timely,’ and commended the organisers.
The Deputy Head of Mission at the Federal Republic of Germany, Ms Suvine Jansen, who was very impressed with the number of exhibitors at the event, said eleven German companies will be exhibiting their products.
On her part, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana and Togo, H.E. Ms Daniela d’Orlandi, said Italy and Ghana have strong bilateral relations which have worked well for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
She said the trade fair will further bolster the relations between Italy and Ghana, adding that it will allow Ghanaian companies to network and connect with Italian companies.