International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

Bamboo harvesters and traders in Ghana trained in business development

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Bamboo harvesters and traders in Ghana trained in business development

INBAR trained bamboo harvesters and traders in business development due to the increasing demand for bamboo culms in Ghana

A total of 50 bamboo harvesters and traders in Ghana benefited from a 2-day (11-12 May) business development training workshop in Accra as part of an ongoing series of training for bamboo value-chain actors to enhance their business operations under the Inter-Africa Bamboo Smallholder Farmers Livelihood Development Programme funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The demand for bamboo culms in Ghana is increasing, especially the demand from the construction sector where bamboo is used as scaffolding and daily demands from artisans. A bamboo pulp and paper factory has also been recently set up to process bamboo into sanitary rolls and others. This latest investment offers enormous opportunities for bamboo farmers, harvesters and traders.

Even though bamboo harvesters and culm traders are cashing in on the resource supply, the majority lack the needed knowledge to build sustainable business enterprises out of their trade. This is coupled with poor financial management and marketing skills. To bridge this gap in knowledge, INBAR West Africa Regional Office in partnership with Ghana’s Business Advisory Centre (BAC) organised a training programme for harvesters and traders, to enable them to build their capacities in sound business management principles and administration.

Using a participatory and adult learning approach, key resources from BAC, took the training beneficiaries through thematic topics such as:

Through this training, I have learnt the value of having excellent customer relations and the need to do proper bookkeeping to ensure my bamboo business flourishes.”  —Says Safiatu Ibrahim, one of the training beneficiaries

This training comes in timely, especially at a time when the country is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic which caused massive unemployment, leading to reduced incomes and desperation among businesses including bamboo enterprises in culm retailing in major cities. For many retailers especially, in the urban centres and bamboo supply areas in Ghana, bamboo provides their daily source of income and the city lockdowns during the pandemic really affected their livelihoods. This training was also designed to help these harvesters and retailers, plan and build resilient business models that can withstand hard times and ensure sustainable income flows.

With support from IFAD, INBAR through the Inter-Africa Bamboo Livelihood Development Programme over the past years has been engaging smallholder farmers and bamboo entrepreneurs to build their capacities in bamboo value chains to enhance their incomes and livelihoods.

Trainees of the business development workshop in Accra