GHANA – Oba Pack Company Limited, a Ghanaian-owned agribusiness, has acquired Babator Farming Company Limited (BFC) from AgDevCo.
BFC is a 356 hectare irrigated commercial farm developed by the specialist investor in African agriculture from greenfield.
The project was a proof of concept to attract investors to the Babator Irrigated Farming Hub (BIFH), an agricultural concession on the Black Volta River in the Savannah Region of northern Ghana.
According to AgDevCo, the establishment could become the country’s largest irrigated farming and processing site once fully developed.
Alongside developing the BFC project, AgDevCo has been planting tree crops (including mangoes, cashew and moringa) at BIFH and promoting smallholder out-grower schemes.
There is a community fund which receives a share of revenue from commercial investors operating within the concession.
With a further 5,000 hectares of irrigable farmland available at BIFH, AgDevCo is seeking other commercial investors.
As demonstrated through rigorous commercial trials, BIFH is suitable for the production of a wide variety of crops, including grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits. There is especially high potential for irrigated bananas.
“Oba Pack’s investment in BFC is an important milestone for AgDevCo as it demonstrates investor confidence in BIFH from a leading Ghanaian agribusiness.
“This investment should help unlock further investment into BIFH to benefit local communities and help commercialise Ghana’s agriculture secto,” Daniel Hulls, CEO of AgDevCo, said.
Oba Pack plans to grow over 7,000 tonnes of onions at BFC for its processing facility in Tuobodom, in the neighbouring Bono Region, targeting the domestic market.
Despite being a staple part of local cuisine, Ghana today imports up to 90% of the onions it consumes.
Oba Pack will also grow soya beans, in a sustainable crop rotation to promote good soil health.
The soya will be sold to Ghana Nuts Company Limited, a company related to Oba Pack, to be processed into soy cake, primarily for the local poultry feed industry.
Obed Asante, CEO of Oba Pack, said, “Our investment in BFC is key to our long-term strategy of vertical integration. BFC enables us to start farming immediately, with secure access to land, machinery and equipment.
“There is ample year-round irrigation, good road infrastructure, and a strong relationship with local communities developed by AgDevCo.”
BFC already employs 58 staff, of whom half are women, in a rural area with very little formal employment.
That number is expected to increase as Oba Pack expands. As the BIFH site attracts other commercial investors there will be further employment opportunities.
AgDevCo was assisted by Open Capital Group Limited during the tender process to sell BFC. Charles Russell Speechlys in the UK and SESI LEGAL in Ghana provided legal support.