The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) held an online session dubbed the KIC Fellowship Technical Session on the topic ‘Highlight of Ghana’s Agricultural Value Chains and Its Potential for Youth Employment & Income Generation’.
The session hosted the likes of Dr. George T-M Kwadzo, a retired Senior lecturer of the University of Ghana and an Agribusiness consultant, Esther Agyekum, the Head of the Horticulture Development Unit of the MoFA, Pearl Coleman Ackah, a KIC team member and today’s spotlight, John Dumelo.
Movie star and Agripreneur John Dumelo during his delivery on the Kosmos Innovation Centre Technical Session held in the later hours of today stated that as an entrepreneur, it is good to think big. He however cautioned that in thinking big, one must be patient to start small so as to gain all the needed experience for the next stage.
“The most important thing about agriculture is funding. Think big but start small. Agric is a risk but most often with very good planning it is rewarding”.
When asked about funding and going for loans for the start of an agribusiness, this is what he had to say
“It is very important to use your own money. Borrowing will put pressure on you. You can only borrow once you’ve started. I started with 200 cedi’s, 300 cedi’s here and there…”
This point was buttressed by Esther Agyekum who further stated that she was against going for loans at the start of the agribusiness. She also said it is important to be up to speed with the industry we seek to engage so we are aware of the industry’s position and how we can come in with our innovation.
“We are all against you going for loans to start in agriculture. Try and familiarize yourself with new developments within the value chain whether production, logistics and etc. so you make the right decision” Esther Agyekum.
“Agric teaches patience. It’s not fast money, if its 3 years that the coconut will take to mature its 3 years, if its 3 months for the pig to mature its 3 months. It’s not fast money” John Dumelo
He encouraged the resident financial institutions to help the existing farmers.
“Take a look at the farmers in US. We have a few farmers producing a lot. Here we have a lot of farmers producing just a little because they invest in mechanization”
He also touched on the opportunity of agribusiness even in the face of climate change stating that available technology has made it easier to work in conditions we now have.
In his closing remarks, he advised the youth to look through the value chain, identify some constraints and meet them.
“This is not a place for a one time shot and you leave. It’s a sector where you invest yourself over time. Pick something from the value chain and meet a constraint” John Dumelo.