Entrepreneur urges gov’t to protect agric investors

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A social entrepreneur involved in Ghana’s agricultural sector, Issa Ouedraogo, has appealed to government to intervene in protecting investors in the sector from individuals and organisations who connive to dupe them.

According to him, some stakeholders in the agricultural industry, particularly banks, lawyers and staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, have developed a penchant for denying investors, especially Ghanaian citizens in the diaspora, their due.
Speaking at a social enterprise forum on Friday at the British Council, Mr Ouedraogo partly attributed the stunted growth of the agricultural sector to this phenomenon.
Mr Ouedraogo, who is the founder of B-BOVID, an agribusiness based on social entrepreneurship principles, recounted how some local banks and lawyers connived with another French firm to dupe him of his investment.

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He also explained how personnel of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in 2017, eliminated an initiative he had developed from a Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) without any reasonable reason. The programme, he said, was funded by a grant of US$2.85 million from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) secured through a trust fund arrangement with the World Bank.

His initiative, dubbed Ghana Peri-urban Vegetables Value Chain Project (GPVVCP), was aimed at promoting peri-urban farming in the country.
He further complained about how some stakeholders in the agricultural sector caused the publication of some false news about him and his organization, in an attempt to court disaffection for him.

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Investigation

Mr Ouedraogo explained that he is not the only person in the agricultural industry who has suffered from such orchestrated attempts geared at frustrating investors. He is, therefore, calling on the government to institute a probe into the many concerns of investors in the sector and address the challenges. He underscored that until a proper investigation is conducted into the activities of some persons in the country and their nefarious activities brought to book, they would continue to push investors out of Ghana to the detriment of the larger population.

“It would further move mountains to exacerbate the worsening growing phenomenon of unemployment in the country, constantly ringing profusely into the ears of entrepreneurs, political leaders, and government officials,” he said.

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  1. […] B-BOVID farms Mr Ouedraogo explained that he used to work as a poverty strategy peer person with the Millennium Development Goals, where he was earning over 120,000 dollars a year, but decided to set-up the farms to boost agricultural tourism in the country. He noted that the concept of agricultural tourism, where eco-friendly technologies are used to produce food and at the same time create an environment for recreation, is not common in the country. He said this informed his decision to resign from his well-paying job abroad to come and establish something in his country. He recounted how state institutions, banks and individuals connived to frustrate him. He appealed to government and other institutions to support the initiative to grow beyond its current stage. He also appealed to the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) and other state agencies to intervene and investigate a case in which a foreign investor wants to use some Ghanaians to deny him his due from his investment. One Kwame Frazier, another reveler, after touring the facility called for support and expansion of such innovation to other parts of the country. “He has set up a social enterprise and an ICT center for farmers which still remain the only one in the country, a mechanization center, an alternative livelihood center, and a factory to operate as a totally socially inclusive business with profit sharing and shared value” he told the media. “This guy deserves to be celebrated, encouraged and supported,” he said. The visitors appealed to government to support the farms and take concrete steps to investigate issues troubling the operations of the entrepreneur. “His setups are all there for people to see and the achievements he has clocked. In the very difficult terrain in Ghana, this guy still managed to prove to the nation that it is doable, it is possible, therefore he seeks national authorities support to end issues surrounding his investment and I do not think this is too difficult to ask” Mr Frazier said. “I learned that this guy is even ready to borrow money to pay independent auditors to verify how some fake investors came along and the things they did to him, if it is in line with international reclamations on how to acquire or be partner of a social impact investors. This is a challenge that the Ghanaian public has to show interest,” he added. READ MORE:  One district, One warehouse; 50 Warehouses Ready […]

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