A Japanese delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has interacted with some key stakeholders of the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) in the Asante Akim Central, Offinso and Techiman municipalities. The “1-man” delegation; made up of Fumiya Misaki, Assistant Director – Overseas Investment and Cooperation Division; was accompanied by Esther Kasalu-Coffin, Country Director of IFAD to Ghana and Haruka Yamazaki, Partnership Officer, PRM of IFAD, Rome. The visit was the first for Madam Kasalu-Coffin to REP after assuming office as Country Director.
Visit to Asante Akim Central Municipality
On the 21st March 2016, the delegation met with the leadership of the Asante Akim Central Municipal Assembly. Speaking at the meeting, Madam Kasalu-Coffin explained that the purpose of the visit was to provide a platform for the Japanese delegation to learn of potential investment opportunities in Ghana that could be promoted among Japan’s private sector investment community. The Assembly mentioned agribusiness as the main investment opportunity in the area because of its rich arable soil and forest cover. They pointed specifically to the rice, plantain, cassava and cocoa value chains. In attendance were the National Director of REP, Kwasi Attah-Antwi, staff from the Programme Coordination and Management Unit (PCMU) of REP and the Asante Akim Central BAC and RTF.
The delegation also inspected an exhibition of REP clients’ products and interacted with the clients who were drawn from the Asante Akim Central, Asante Akim South and Ejisu Juaben districts. The products exhibited ranged from agro-processing, agro-industrial, traditional craft and primary fabrication.
Interaction with Selected BAC staff on KAIZEN Implementation
The delegation interacted with selected Business Advisory Center heads from Ashanti Region at the PCMU in the morning of Tuesday, 22nd March, 2016. The discussion centered on the involvement of the BACs in the implementation of the KAIZEN concept, under the NBSSI-JICA KAIZEN Project. The BACs were from Sekyere Central, Sekyere South, Kwabre East, Obuasi and Asante Akim Central districts/municipalities. The rest are from Offinso Municipal, Offinso North, Asokore Mampong, Sekyere Kumawu and Ejisu Juaben districts.
Visit to Offinso and Techiman Municipality
Following the meeting with the BACs, the delegation proceeded to the Offinso Municipality before heading to Techiman. They were accompanied by the Knowledge Management and Communication Officer of REP, Nanabanyin Brown-Addo.
In Offinso, the delegation visited the Rural Technology Facility. The facility is a good example of an RTF established through private-public sector arrangement and run by the private sector. It was established jointly by REP and the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church. The team inspected the equipment in the RTF as well as some of the products of the center.
The delegation then headed to the Techiman Municipality where it first paid a courtesy call on the Municipal Assembly to discuss potential areas for investment by the private sector of Japan. The delegation discussed various opportunities in areas such as processing of agricultural produce, irrigation, waste management and construction of market stalls.
The delegation proceeded to the Techiman RTF, where they inspected the facility, the workshop equipment as well as agro-processing equipment produced for various entrepreneurs in the country. They also interacted with staff of the Techiman BAC and a client of REP engaged in mushroom production, Bernard Bempah.
The CPM and her delegation also visited to Shea butter/oil processing section of the Ghana Nut Limited.