Agribusiness and Value Chains training for Accra Technical University

In November, Dr. Jeroen van Wijk, Associate Professor Global Value Chain and Partnerships at Maastricht School of Management (MSM) provided a 5-day training on agribusiness and value chains to 18 staff members of Accra Technical University (ATU). The training is the second module of a Tailor-Made-Training project called “Developing ATU staff competences to design a commercial Agribusiness course targeted at female entrepreneurs”.

Agriculture in Ghana is a key economic sector that employs over half of the working population and accounts for around 20 per cent of both the country’s GDP and exports. However, Ghana’s agriculture is largely confined to production; agri-processing adds less than 2 percent to the country’s GDP. With this information in mind, the agribusiness and value chains training focused on creating higher value-adding activities such as: agri-processing, packaging, marketing, and exporting of manufactured food and non-food natural products. As female entrepreneurs and women tend to be under-represented in the agribusiness sector, the training put a special emphasis on the promotion of female ‘agripreneurs’.

Learning about global value chains
Dr. van Wijk was able to travel to Accra, Ghana to deliver the training in person with the aim to enhance the participants competences in: 1) positioning agribusiness forms in a global value chain, 2) learning how to analyze this value chain and spot opportunities and constraints for the local ‘lead firm’, 3) improving this lead firm’s relationship with other relevant value chain actors and stakeholders, 4) designing an agribusiness course that is particularly interesting for female entrepreneurs.

It was a full 5-day program that was comprised over 10 different modules of 3 hours each. Every module was set up in a similar way where in the first hour an interactive lecture was provided where knowledge on key aspects of value chain analysis, business development and product marketing was being shared. The topics that were being discussed were as much as possible related to the real-life agribusiness context in Ghana. The value chain that was used as an example was the chocolate value chain, as the cocoa sector is an important Ghanaian product. The lectures were followed by an hour of group work where the participants were able to put the newly gained knowledge into practice. Each group worked on a different value chain, analysing a relevant product such as pineapple, cashew, palm oil and food packaging. The last hour of each module was reserved for presentations to discuss the assignment they worked on as well as the newly gained knowledge and learn from each other.

The participants shared that the training gave them many new insights and that they learnt a lot from the format that promoted group work.


Female entrepreneurship skills
The next module of this TMT will be taught in Q1 of 2022 by Entrepreneurship expert Vin Morar on the topic of female entrepreneurship skills.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This Tailor-Made-Training is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's International Projects and Consultancies Department
This workshop is part of MSM’s International Project and Consultancies Department. The department is an is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.​ We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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