Prospective exporters have been urged not to rush into the export market without due diligence about regulatory requirements and the people with whom they will be doing business.
They must also ensure strict adherence to international market protocols to guarantee the sustainability of their businesses.
The advice was given by two seasoned exporters at the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA) organized programme dubbed ‘Time with Seasoned Exporters.’
Dr Felix Mawuli Kamassah, President of the Vegetable Producers & Exporters Association of Ghana and Managing Director of Maphlix Trust Farms, and Chief Executive Officer of Solutions Oasis Limited, Mrs Francesca Brenda Opoku, shared their experiences with the prospective exporters and start-up companies.
Dr Kamassah said an important driver of success was being passionate about the business and be determined to learn and excel in it.
He urged up-and-coming entrepreneurs to venture into agribusiness with “love and passion”, without which they would be unsuccessful and frustrated by the challenges.
“Agribusiness is about determination; it’s practical and pays well,” he said.
Dr Kamassah said when he started farming, he did not export until after three years, by which time he had learnt the rope and was sure of meeting the quantity and quality demands of the market through the guidance of GEPA.
Commending GEPA for the training in exports and other modules, the MD of Maphlix Farms wooed young trainees to get onto the field and excel. He advised them to be committed to their dreams and apply what they had received in the classroom.
“Most of the youth who benefit from training courses conducted by GEPA should be able to join us on the field. GEPA can give you all the support but if you fail to execute your plan well, it won’t go well with you,” he stated.
On her part, Mrs Opoku advised the prospective exporters to be professional in whatever business they engaged in and more importantly meet the trust of buyers.
“This is important so your buyers and those who are able to assist you would take you seriously,” the CEO of Solutions Oasis Limited advised.
Mrs Opoku, who manufactures premium natural beauty care products from exotic African butter, oils and herbs, urged players in the industry to explore all opportunities for support from government institutions.
She continued, “When I was told about GEPA, I felt I was too small and that the Authority would have no interest in me, but when I approached them eventually, I realised that you can’t be too small to be supported.
When I linked up with GEPA and went through the export school, I benefitted immensely, gone on some trade missions with GEPA to the extent I will call myself an expert in trade missions.”
Mrs Opoku urged the prospective business guys to explore partnerships and collaboration to be able to meet the demands of the international market.
The Deputy CEO at GEPA, Mr Albert Kassim Diwura, said the testimonies of the seasoned exporters demonstrated the impact the policy actions of government through GEPA had made.
He said the success of the entrepreneurs would benefit them and the country, especially through the foreign exchange generated.