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FarmCare Services Ltd.: Serving as a Conduit for the Development of a Service-oriented Approach to Maize and Soya Bean Production in Ghana

Abstract

FarmCare Services Limited was set up by Samuel Seddoh on a pilot basis after he had observed that there were a lot of problems with the value chains of maize and soya bean production in Ghana. Maize and soya beans were cultivated at a subsistence level by most farmers in Ghana. The farmers faced difficulties in obtaining farm inputs, meeting high transaction costs and handling the lack of storage facilities. The farmers also made very little from their toil since middlemen found ways of exploiting the farmers once their produce had been harvested. FarmCare initiated its pilot operations after it determined what problems the farmers faced, and began by providing inputs to 15 farmers in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana in 2009. In 2011, FarmCare provided assistance to 75 farmers in the Ashanti Region. Each farmer was required to cultivate a minimum of 5 acres of farmland to qualify for FarmCare’s assistance. This case discusses the strategic plans of FarmCare and measures the company planned to put in place to ensure that farmers could operate at a more efficient level. The company’s plan was to have three arms of the business: input supplies, value addition and post harvest services. However, the pilot operations focused only on the input supplies due to financial constraints. The case further examines the challenges the business faced in its first few years of operation, its achievements and its plans for the future. FarmCare demonstrates the use of the value chain to determine the need for services and the use of value chains to determine the pain-points in the activity cycle of farmers. The case also shows the problems faced by farmers in Ghana and other emerging economies in their bid to cultivate maize and soya bean. Additionally, it brings to light the role of governments and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector and projects the sensitivity of the agricultural sector in emerging economies like Ghana. FarmCare can be used for EMBA/MBA, master’s and postgraduate level programs that relate to value chain analysis particularly in the agricultural sector. It can also be used for courses on entrepreneurship, services marketing, innovation and business.

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Published by:China Europe International Business School

Publish Date:2012-01-01

Language:English

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