Article: Field visit to Asutuare Rice Farms


Article: Field visit to Asutuare Rice Farms

On Friday, September 15th, the International Trade Centre (ITC) organized an expedition to Asutuare in the Volta Region. This trip was organized in partnership with Grow For Me (GFM), an agri-tech digital platform that empowers individuals to invest in the cultivation of specific crops, connecting them to markets and generating rewards for all stakeholders

The primary objective of this half-day excursion was to engage with rice farmers in the Volta Region through discussions, observation of their rice drying platforms, visits to rice mills and farms, and gaining insights into how technology has enhanced their agricultural practices. Furthermore, the expedition sought to explore potential partnerships and collaborations between these farmers and other (agri)tech institutions.

The field trip was attended by representatives from the Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI), the Netherlands Embassy in Accra, GNBCC, MotitoThink DataBig DataWami Agro, and Wobil Technologies Limited. It commenced with a formal meeting with the executives of the Kpong Irrigation Scheme (KIS), who are dedicated to managing and overseeing production to ensure the cultivation of high-quality seeds. Subsequently, the farmers shared their journey, highlighting the challenges such as the high cost of seed production, the labour-intensive nature of farming, financial constraints, issues marketing, and sustainability concerns. To ensure sustainability, the farmers expressed their aspiration to train at least 100 youths in farming to secure the future of agriculture, due to the aging demographic of current farmers.

Representatives from GFM also provided insights into their company and impactful solutions. Their USSD platform, ‘micro aggregator platform’ (MAP), enables farmers to sell their harvest directly to warehouses and receive instant payments via mobile money. It also facilitates fund-raising from banks, high-net-worth individuals, fund managers, and businesses to finance the purchase of commodities from farmers (commodity aggregations) and sell (commodity trading) at the right price. This initiative has reduced the need for intermediaries, such as market women, who traditionally were the main determinants of crop prices. GFM has also introduced various systems to support farmers in seed production, emphasizing the importance of high-quality seeds as a foundation for healthy yields. Furthermore, GFM has utilized online platforms to connect farmers directly with buyers. As a result of these initiatives, farmers have made significant progress and aspire to supply their produce across Ghana in the coming years.

The visit concluded with a visit to rice farms and processing sites, providing attendees with insights into the various stages the crop undergoes before reaching local markets.

A big thank you to ITC for organizing this event. GNBCC is thankful for being included in this journey, and we look forward to participating in future field visits.

By Tracy Mensah, Project Manager, GNBCC.

GNBCC | News