A social entrepreneur involved in Ghana’s agricultural sector, Issa Ouedraogo, has appealed to government to intervene in protecting investors in the sector from individuals and organisations who connive to dupe them.
According to him, some stakeholders in the agricultural industry, particularly banks, lawyers and staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, have developed a penchant for denying investors, especially expatriates, their due.
Speaking at a social enterprise forum on Friday at the British Council, Mr Ouedraogo partly attributed the stunted growth of the agricultural sector to this phenomenon.
Mr Ouedraogo, who is the founder of B-BOVID, an agribusiness based on social entrepreneurship principles, recounted how some local banks and lawyers connived with another French firm to dupe him of his investment.
He also explained how personnel of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in 2017, eliminated an initiative he had developed from a Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) without any reasonable reason. The programme, he said, was funded by a grant of US$2.85 million from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) secured through a trust fund arrangement with the World Bank.
His initiative, dubbed Ghana Peri-urban Vegetables Value Chain Project (GPVVCP), was aimed at promoting peri-urban farming in the country.
He further complained about how some stakeholders in the agricultural sector caused the publication of some false news about him and his organization, in an attempt to court disaffection for him.
Mr Ouedraogo explained that he is not the only person in the agricultural industry who has suffered from such orchestrated attempts geared at frustrating investors. He is, therefore, calling on the government to institute a probe into the many concerns of investors in the sector and address the challenges. He underscored that until a proper investigation is conducted into the activities of some persons in the country and their nefarious activities brought to book, they would continue to push investors out of Ghana to the detriment of the larger population.
“It would further move mountains to exacerbate the worsening growing phenomenon of unemployment in the country, constantly ringing profusely into the ears of entrepreneurs, political leaders, and government officials,” he said.