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The Vice President of the African Development Bank Group Africa, . Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor has commended the producers of Nana Rice, Agro Kings saying they are examples of large-scale youth innovation in agriculture and Entrepreneurship with women at the forefront.
He commend the company for using solar power, irrigation channels, recycling waste water and rainwater in its production.
In a post on LinkedIn, Mr Adegbie-Quaynor said “while a young company, they are very conscious of and are adapting climate resilience into their operations – use solar power, use of irrigation channels, recycling wastewater, and rainwater.”
He also said the AfDB is establishing Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIBs) to support youth entrepreneurs.
“The AfDB is establishing Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIBs) to support youth entrepreneurs like Nana throughout his entrepreneurship journey, investing equity as angel investors, facilitating introduction to venture capital and PE funds subsequently, and finally providing them credit guarantees to raise loans from local banks.”
He added that “The YEIB will also anchor supporting youth entrepreneurs non-financially including capacity building, entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and establishing shared services platforms or clusters. For example, based on our discussions with Nana and his fantastic team (90% below 35 years of age), the YEIB could work with the over 2,000 rice farmers in the Akuse/Asutuare area to establish and co-own a specialized equipment rental company so that these large capx investments can be leveraged more affordably across many farms.”
Mr Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor thank the team for a very insightful and high energy and urged them to keep up with the innovation.
“Thanks Nana and team, along with your Brazilian agronomist and rice field manager, for a very insightful and high energy day today. Keep up the innovation, the funding will come as early stage investors including VC will be interested in working with a dynamic committed youthful gender-diverse management team, that is product innovating, growing sales through multiple distribution channels, harnessing tech enablement, …. Ayeeko!”
The company founded by Nana Owusu-Achau leads a young team (90% below 35 years) and gender-diverse management team along with a Brazilian agronomist and rice field manager. In 4 years, they have already engaged more than 350 smallholder farmers, empowering them to increase earnings by 40% and transforming the lives of over 3000 families along the value chain. They are expanding their production to 10,000 acres. They have three main crops with rice production and milling as their focus, but they also produce and process sweet potatoes and chili peppers.
Source: Ghana Waves