Home » Abanga Farms Partners with MEDA to Launch Major Agriculture Initiative in West Africa

Abanga Farms Partners with MEDA to Launch Major Agriculture Initiative in West Africa

Project to boost rice production, job creation in Mano River.

by Adenike Adeodun

Abanga Farms and Food Systems, a leading agribusiness in Ghana, has partnered with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) to launch a major agricultural project in West Africa’s Mano River countries, which include Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The partnership aims to create over 250,000 jobs for youth and women within the next five years across the beneficiary countries. Seventy percent of these jobs are targeted at the youth and 30 percent at young women, emphasizing gender inclusivity and equitable participation in the agricultural sector.

Dr. Thomas Abanga, the CEO of Abanga Group of companies, discussed the initiative in an interview with the Daily Graphic. He explained that the Mano River Rice Initiative is expected to significantly reduce rice imports by 50% and increase local rice production in the Mano River Basin.

The initiative involves multiple collaborators including SEND Ghana, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the nonprofit organization Mountain Lion, and Africa Rice, an agricultural research institution. Together, they aim to boost local production capacities and achieve greater self-sufficiency in Sierra Leone, reducing dependency on external rice sources.

Dr. Abanga highlighted that Sierra Leone will cultivate 50,000 hectares of land to usher in a new era of agricultural innovation and efficiency. The project plans to increase mechanization by 60% throughout the production and processing stages to optimize output.

As part of the preparatory phase, representatives from Abanga Group, alongside MEDA and other private sector partners, recently visited the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute. This visit underscored the commitment to harnessing research and innovation for sustainable agricultural development.

The Mano River Rice Initiative is set to transform rice cultivation practices, empower local communities, and foster economic resilience. It exemplifies the impact of strategic partnerships and visionary leadership in the realm of agribusiness.

Dr. Abanga expressed enthusiasm about the potential of this initiative to shape a brighter future for agriculture in Africa, emphasizing the critical role of agricultural innovation in the continent’s development.

Abanga Farms also has ongoing projects in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions of Northern Ghana, involving crops such as rice, maize, soy, and cashew. The success of these projects in Ghana contributed to securing the funding necessary for the Mano River Rice Initiative.

Source: Graphic Online

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