BIIC TEAM VISITS UMMY FARMS AND MAGNOBA FARMS
A team of four members from the UDS Business Directorate led by the Director, Dr. Richard Yeboah, visited two of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Business Innovation Award winners. The team was made up of Mr. Yakubu Balma Issaka, the Deputy Director, Madam Dorothy Yakubu, the Administrator, and Mr. Nicholas Nyarko Asante, National Service Personnel.
The team first visited Ummy Farms in Libga in the Savelegu-Nanton Municipality. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ummy Farms Mr. Abdul-Rashid Wumpini, and his partner, Mr. Nurudeen Suleman, received the team. Mr. Suleman took the team on an inspection of the farm and explained some of the activities taking place on the farm. He indicated that currently, the company operates a one-and-a-half-acre vegetable farm. However, the company has acquired an additional one acre of land, which is being prepared for cultivation. Vegetables growing at various stages on the farm were lettuce, cabbage, pepper, spring onion, and eggplant. Mr. Suleman also said they tried cultivating tomatoes on the land but failed for reasons he could not explain. The farm is irrigated using two pumping machines owned by the company. This enables them to produce vegetables throughout the year except for August and September when the land gets flooded due to heavy rains. According to the farm manager, the company employs a few women as casual workers and intends to recruit more as the business grows.
Mr. Abdul Rashid Alhassan indicated that their biggest challenge is inadequate to finance and proper documentation on lease arrangements for which they are calling for support. The Deputy Director advised the partners to clarify their business model and the nature of the partnership. The partners could not indicate the financial output per bed but only indicated that the lettuce and eggplant are more profitable than others, but they did not have data to support their claim. It became clear that record-keeping was a challenge hence, they were advised to take record-keeping of productions, marketing, and others seriously if they want to be in business.
The team was sent to the second field of the Farm about two kilometers away. Here, tomato and Amaranthus were growing while the rest of the land was being prepared. It is under irrigation but away from the developed irrigation site. The team was informed that they work with other women farmers who produce vegetables under the Farms’ supervision which they market. The women were not on the farm at the time of visit.
Director thanked Ummy Farms for receiving the team and urged them to work harder to achieve their dream. The CEO also thanked the team for the visit.
The team proceeded to the Maganobah Farms in Nyankpala in the Tolon District. The team was received by the CEO, Mr. Maganobah Charles, and his Business Partner, Ms. Tiku Chantal.
The Director indicated that the team was on a familiarization visit and to interact with the company. In his preliminary observation, he noted that he was not too happy with the size of the production site as he thought that the business must have expanded. Mr. Maganoba took the team through the production process of the mushroom and processing. He said that currently, they have over 2,000 substrates that are producing mushrooms. Mr. Maganoba said their major challenges are the weather and scarcity of water. Also, they do not own their current production site and long-term tenure is not guaranteed. However, he was optimistic that the company would expand the infrastructure at a new site by the end of the year 2022.
The Farm was advised to take the business seriously because it is lucrative. He further urged the partners to look for a production site where water is available. Their partnership arrangement should be properly documented and get more hands to assist in production. Mr. Maganoba was advised to manage Ms. Tiku very well since she has added more value to the business and she is an asset.
Mr. Maganoba thanked the team for coming and for their advice. He promised to abide by the advice given to him to enhance the growth of the business. The visits ended at 2:30 pm.
Pictures showing Director and his team inspecting crops on the field of Ummy farm
The Director, Dr. Richard Yeboah and the Administrator of the UDS Business Directorate, Madam Dorothy Yakubu examining the substrate for mushroom production at the Maganoba Mushroom farm.