Peter Grouev visits AgroCenta's operations in Ghana

on 16 June 2017

Accra and Tamale (Republic of Ghana), June 2016. Last week, Peter Grouev, our Head of Risk Management and Investment Strategy, traveled to Ghana on a due diligence trip to visit with our investee AgroCenta. Mr. Grouev was accompanied by a prospective investor and had the opportunity to travel to Northern Ghana to visit with some farmers within AgroCenta’s network

Business Meeting in Accra with AgroCentaPeter’s trip included visits to Accra, Tamale, Boglatanga, and Kongo. The trip began with a few business meetings and introductions in Accra. From there, the work began in earnest and Peter travelled with AgroCenta’s CEO Francis Obirikorang to Ghana’s Upper East Region to the city of Tamale. Tamale served as a base of operations for the rest of the trip due to its’ central location in the north of Ghana. The northern regions of Ghana account for more than half of the country’s agricultural production and AgroCenta focuses its’ current activities here for this region. Tamale is a large regional center with a population of more than 500,000 and is a collection point for agricultural produce in the region. From Tamale, the group traveled to Bolgatanga where AgroCenta’s regional headquarters are based to begin the due diligence work. The due diligence work proceeded smoothly with a very positive outcome. 

Kongo Village Women Farmer's AssociationIn addition to the due diligence work, Peter’s trip gave him firsthand exposure not just to AgroCenta’s business and operations but also with their impact. Mr. Grouev and the prospective investor were able to meet with members of the Kongo village women's farming association. At this meeting, the team could hear directly from the farmers themselves about the benefits of AgroCenta’s services. The farmers provided very positive feedback of AgroCenta and its impact on their livelihoods. Many of the farmers mentioned that prior the introduction of AgroCenta’s services, they would have to sell their produce locally over a period of several months. The women would have to arrange to travel to the nearest regional market and sell their produce at local prices. AgroCenta enables these farmers to sell the harvests in bulk for above local prices. The farmers also mentioned the benefits of AgroCenta’s agricultural training, saying the improved farming techniques further increased their yields and financial outcomes. They also expressed great enthusiasm for the PlantRite program, which provides access to seeds, inputs, and tractor services which can be paid for in-kind from their harvests. Following the meeting with the women’s farming association, Peter and the group toured some of the nearby farmland.Bolgatanga Kongo farm fields

Describing his experience Peter said “I found the trip very inspiring and rewarding. It was very enlightening to see, firsthand, the results of our support for AgroCenta. The experience reinforced my view and made tangible for me the potential for impact investment to produce both profit and social impact people in rural Africa. I was very impressed by the motivation and determination of the women farmers that we met.” Peter further described the trip as very productive from a business perspective and looks forward to further work in the field.