A delegation of leading Italian producers of technologies and products for agriculture, agro-industry and zoo technics belonging to the mother association Cermac have embarked on a trip to Ghana to explore opportunities and to build partnerships with local businesses within the agribusiness value chain.
The three-day visit was facilitated by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), with the support of the Italian Embassy in Ghana, to expose Italy’s rich expertise and technologies in agribusiness in line with its mandate.
Speaking to the media at the delegation’s business-to-business meeting in Accra, Trade Commissioner, Alessandro Gerbino, said the meeting offered the opportunity for Ghanaian companies to engage with some of Italy’s top producers of agro-processing technologies, machinery, and products to forge the right business partnerships.
“The background of this event is two-fold: We have worked in the direction of Italian companies to let them know more about Ghana and what it needs in terms of new technologies for production, particularly in the agribusiness sector,” he said.
He added: “We’ve also witnessed growing interest from Ghanaian companies wanting to access Italian technology, which is known for its reliability, quality, and competitiveness. We see an increasing number of companies in the country that are approaching us for suppliers and partners from Italy.”
According to Mr Gerbino, the presence of the delegation opens new leads that will facilitate transfer of skills and competencies that will make local production better in quality and quantity as well as upgrade the situation for domestic agro-based manufacturing.
Cermac’s visit is a new important step in the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, after the several agribusiness delegations from Ghana that ITA accompanied to industry events in Italy, such as Eima, Macfrut, and others.
Cermac’s president, Enrico Turoni, said that the association seeks to establish reliable business partnerships with Ghanaian companies that want to leverage the Italian agribusiness experience in order to grow together.
“We are here in Ghana because it is a country that’s doing very well in the production of fruits and vegetables with huge export potential for the European market in need of healthy diets,” he noted.
Cermac is a group of companies comprising of producers of agricultural technology from the field to the table with technologies ranging from pre-harvest, field treatment to post-harvest and food processing.
Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Herbert Krapa, talked about the government’s industrial drive highlighting existing opportunities in the country’s agro sector with a strong emphasis on the flagship 1D1F and Planting for Food and Jobs (PJF) initiatives.
He said government remains committed to incentivizing the private sector to invest in key sectors of the economy including the agro-processing and agribusiness value chain.
“Cermac’s trip to Ghana is very important to the Trade and Industry Ministry as government has always believed in industrialization as the key to bringing development to our country,” he added.
Italy’s Deputy Head of Mission to Ghana, Alessandra Oliva, reiterated the numerous opportunities for Italian investors highlighting the stable and conducive environment that promotes sustainable business in the country.
“Ghana is upgrading its manufacturing and production capacities which are prime areas for investors. Ghana could benefit from Italy’s expertise in adding value to its natural resources across various industries,” she noted.
Ms. Oliva emphasized that Ghana and Italy have enjoyed a longstanding bilateral cooperation that has birthed several investments and projects over the years in the core sectors of energy, agribusiness, construction, and tourism.
“In the agriculture sector, this is even more relevant with demand for Italian machinery from Ghanaian entrepreneurs and businesses due to their reliability and high productivity,” she added.
Bono East Regional Minister, Kwasi Adu-Gyan, in his brief remarks, touted the region’s prospects for agribusiness investors especially in the production of dairy, vegetables and grains whilst appealing to the Italian delegation to invest in the region.
“The region is purely agrarian and the food basket of Ghana; we have a number of investors visiting the region and we invite Italian businesses to also come and see what we have,” he said.
He added: “If we need to lift the standard of living of the people, we need to improve modernized agriculture. We have about 44,000-hectares of rice valleys and we believe if these valleys are put to good use, will be able to produce enough rice to feed the country and for export.”
Cermac member that made up the delegation were: Forigo Roter Italia, L Gobbi, Rovatti Pompe, IRTEC, TR Turoni, Ing. A. Rossi, Graziani Packaging and Ferrari Costruzioni Meccaniche.
Also present at the meeting was the deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Mr. Albert Diwura.