AgDevCo is pleased to announce that Oba Pack Company Limited, a Ghanaian-owned agribusiness, purchased the Babator Farming Company Limited (BFC) on 31 December 2021. Prior to the sale, AgDevCo Limited was the sole owner of BFC.
BFC is a 356 hectare irrigated commercial farm developed by AgDevCo 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, which could become the country’s largest irrigated farming and processing site once fully developed.
Oba Pack will produce onions for its processing facility in Tuobodom, in the neighbouring Bono Region. The company plans to grow over 7,000 tonnes of onions at BFC for sale in the domestic market, with potential for further expansion. 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.
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.
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.”
Daniel Hulls, CEO of AgDevCo, said:
“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 sector.”
Alongside developing the BFC project, AgDevCo has been planting tree crops (including mangoes, cashew and moringa) at BIFH and promoting smallholder outgrower schemes. There is a community fund which receives a share of revenue from commercial investors operating within the concession. To date, the fund, AgDevCo and BFC have supported a local school, health clinic and a water treatment system.
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.
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.
AgDevCo is a specialist investor in African agriculture. Our vision is a thriving commercial agriculture sector which benefits both people and planet. At the end of Q3 2021 AgDevCo’s portfolio comprised US$ 150 million of committed funds into 47 companies. To date, AgDevCo’s investments and technical assistance have engaged 764,000 small-scale farmers and created or sustained 15,600 jobs. UKAid is the principal funder of AgDevCo and the BIFH project. For more information about BFC and BIFH refer to this video and brochure.