I have read from him that, the Almighty Allah, not only His Excellency the President will judge him based on how he uses his position to positively transform societies and better lives. Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba has made bare what motivates him to be such an achiever, accessible and a generous appointee of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
I'm motivated to write this short paper on account of the many success stories of the National Food Buffer Stock Company with Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba as the Chief Executive Officer. This is as a result of the numerous catalyst strategies taken by the celebrated Agriculturalist, which has transformed the face of the National Food Buffer Stock Company. Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba, who has been lauded for repositioning NAFCO as the country’s foremost food security Entity.
Government, in line with its mandate to accelerate the modernization of Agriculture and increase the productivity of the Ghanaian farmer, has introduced a number of interventions to achieve this mandate. Among the interventions include: The introduction of block farms program which has made it possible for mechanization and extension services to be spread out to cover a large acreage and number of farmers.
To see to the realization of the mandate of NAFCO, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba, who has fetched several achievements within a spate of almost three years as CEO of the hitherto almost defunct company for his stellar management prowess, has indicated that, he always has it at the back of his mind that he is occupying a privileged position due to the confidence the President has in him. He therefore has never lost sight of this and thus strives continuously to perfect himself and those around him.
Numerous achievements cuts across prudent management in enhancing food security, warehousing/storage strategies, improved licensing of suppliers and buyers, anchoring the feeding component of FSHS flagship, enhancing home food consumption or cutting down importation, periodic monitoring, partnership with stakeholders, and ensuring job creation. Before we make a detail discussion into this, let us further broaden the discussion to understand the concept of food security in Ghana in recent times.
The Concept of Food Security/Insecurity in Ghana
A recent report prepared by MoFA (2018) discussed that about 5 percent of Ghana’s population (1.5 million people) are food insecure. The World Food Programme in 2009 reported that approximately 453,000 people in Ghana are food insecure with 34% in the Upper West region, 15% in the Upper East, and 10% in the Northern region (WFP, 2009). About 2 million people are vulnerable to become food insecure nation-wide, which means any unexpected natural or man-made shock will greatly affect the pattern of their food consumption. People vulnerable to food insecurity totaling 1.5 million lives in the rural and urban areas of the following seven regions of Ghana: Brong-Ahafo 11%, Ashanti 10%, Eastern 8%, Volta region 7% etc. The remaining 0.5 million people are found in the three Northern regions.
Months of inadequate household food provisioning, this has been defined as the time between stock depletion and the next harvest (Gilinsky & Swindale, 2007). Food insecurity in areas that are subsistence-oriented is measured using months of inadequate household food provisioning. Areas that are subsistence-oriented produce primarily for home consumption, and only a few amount of the produce are sold in the market. Quaye (2008) reported that most farmer households experience significant level of food insecurity lasting from 3 to 7 months.
Upper East Region was the worst affected because it experienced 6 months period of food shortage (Nyanteng & Asuming-Brempong, 2003).
Ghana faces eminent food insecurity as the average yield has not been growing. In almost two decades the importation of commercial food and food aid has reached about 4.7% of food needs. Food production and availability per year is dependent on rainfall during and between growing seasons, and the level of production. This creates food insecurity at household levels, making community areas poor and chronically distressed. Ghana is generally food secure, but there are pockets of food insecurity existing in all regions as a result of acute limited resources and limited alternative livelihood chances for most people to meet their dietary needs. Adverse weather conditions, and bush fires have had severe impact on smallholder farm enterprises (MoFA, 2007).
To reduce food and nutrition insecurity, Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture outlined the following in 2017 (MoFA, 2017):
- Modernizing agriculture by improving productivity, mechanization, irrigation and water management.
- Maintaining national strategic stocks such as food storage, distribution and improved nutrition.
- Preventing and managing of emergencies and expanding national strategic stocks through effective early warning systems.
- Enhancing peoples’ knowledge of the importance of optimum nutrition by improving advocacy on nutrition education and food fortification.
- Reducing post-harvest losses, and improving storage and distribution systems through capacity building of relevant stakeholders. These include proper methods for harvesting, primary processing, grading, storing, and ensuring good linkages between producers and markets.
- Ensuring food production systems (macro and micro nutrients and food fortification) as an essential aspect of food processing.
- Reducing risks resulting from natural disasters and disease/pests outbreaks and ensuring adequate food stocks availability.
Now that I have cleared the air of food security/insecurity and henceforth, the recommendations in Ghana, I will move the discussion to make my readers know some of the mandates and objectives of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO).
NAFCO was set up in 2010 and tasked with key roles of handling government emergency food program and help in the prevention of post-harvest loses by purchasing, selling, preserving and distributing food. It is also responsible for mopping up excess produce from farmers, facilitate the export of surplus stock, expanding the demand for food grown in Ghana by selling to state institutions such as schools, prisons, hospitals, military and build and manage Warehouses and Pack-houses.
By successfully undertaking the above, NAFCO is expected to help stabilize food grain supply and price, ensure emergency food reserve, ensure macro-economic stability, act as foreign exchange earner, promote the consumption of locally grown produce, reduces post-harvest loses, protects farmer’s income, guarantees farmers stable and acceptable prices and ready market.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba’s Drive and Ages of Success
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba is a Philanthropist and an Agricultural Engineer and a Post-harvest Expert. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Technology, Master of Philosophy in Post-Harvest Technology, and Professional certificates in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics. Prior to his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Food and Buffer Stock Company, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba held various managerial positions, and lately he was an outstanding senior manager at the National Food and Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO).
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba took over as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Food and Buffer Stock company in March, 2017 and has so far within a short period been credited with several gains which has transformed the company, which, under the erstwhile NDC government was virtually limited to managing governments’ emergency food security reserves to an agency of agriculture as the center pin.
Upon assumption in office, the celebrated Agriculturist outlined visionary strategies to transform the face of NAFCO in line with its mandate and objectives. The adopted workable strategies which are already being implemented have in real terms led to decrease in import food items, provisioning of warehousing systems, improved quality grains of food, improved licensing of food suppliers, enhancing the quality of service delivery, anchoring the FSHS with food security, created automous office as a monitoring unit, creation of jobs, and introducing speed as a business strategy.
In his recent interview with the media, he underscored “We are anticipating a modernized agricultural sector generally, but we also expect abundance of food, improved livelihood for our students, farmers and fisher-folks, provision of adequate infrastructure to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce, storage, processing and a reduction of importations to a significant level”. For the first time in the history of the NAFCO, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba is the first to be recognized with national and international awards.
Let’s finally hint on the ages of success of the sterling performances of the award winning CEO of NAFCO, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Prudent Management
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba led NAFCO has earned the Nana Akufo Addo government with Foreign Exchange through increased food production resulting from MOFA’s interventions and storage by NAFCO has afforded the country the opportunity to export surplus food items after meeting the local food requirement last season. This has helped the government in foreign exchange earnings.
The CEO has since positioned NAFCO which hitherto, was a sinking company, to a dividend prone organization. NAFCO in the previous administration had to borrow to pay the salaries of workers. Today, due to the prudent management by the affable CEO, workers are paid through the company’s internally generated funds.
He also equipped the NAFCO, mopped up all excess grains from the planting for food and jobs programme, another government trump card to alleviating poverty, giving farmers a value for their investments.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba led NAFCO succeeded in mopping up the excess food supply and to release them to the market at the appropriate time to ensure a continuous food supply and therefore stabilization of food prices which is of continuous concern and benefit to the Nana Akufo Addo led government.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Warehousing
Under the stewardship of Mr.Abdul-Hanan Aludiba as the CEO of NAFCO, eighty (80) new warehouses across the country, each with a capacity of one thousand(1,000) metric tons is been constructed, with additional five(5) existing warehouse been rehabilitated. These facilities will be equipped with seed cleaners, dryers and weighing scales, creating additional jobs and to help curb the incidence of post-harvest losses.
Also, Fifteen (15) warehouses are being constructed in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region. This is to also augment the capacity of our food reserve by 80,000 tons more by the end of this year.
As an expert in grain storage and post-harvest technology, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba pay much attention to food safety and storage conditions. With about 35,000mt installed capacity of storage facilities, and due to his diligence upon assumption of office, 119,965mt of storage facilities are under various stages of construction across the country and by the end of the year, NAFCO would have had an installed capacity of about a 120,000mt of storage facilities nationwide. Not to mention of the old dilapidated structures the CEO has identified to be renovated.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Licensing
The National Food Buffer Stock Company has significantly improved markets with the licensing of over thousand (1,000) Local Buying Companies (LBCs). The LBCs serve as off-takers of farm produce at the farm-gate to guarantee market and income of farmer's. A total of fifty-two thousand (52,000) metric tons of food stuff such as rice, millet, groundnut and cowpea, have so far been supplied by his outfit to schools under the free senior high school programme.
As part of Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba’s drive, an action plan was developed to get all suppliers licensed 6 clear weeks before the new academic year and a proper audit mechanism, to access the strength of each supplier’s infrastructural and financial capabilities in terms of execution, and to ensure goods supplied are of good manufacturing standards and also check their storage practices. Additionally, NAFCO has adopted to trace every food supplied in the supply chain to ensure food safety.
Mr.Abdul-Hanan Aludiba on Free Senior High School Project
With the commencement of the implementation of the Free Senior High School programme, government decided to assign NAFCO the responsibility of food supply to all state High Schools for the feeding of students. A charge NAFCO is widely believed to have performed creditably contributing to the overall success of the Free SHS policy.
As the CEO, he successfully implemented the feeding component of the first batch of the governments flagship programme, FSHS. With his team and the expectant number of students to be enrolled unto this year with the introduction of the double track system,
During the second phase of the programme, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba initiated a system to appraise the realities and fine-tune the program implementation protocols to ensure the smooth running of same.
Since 2017, NAFCO, under Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba has played critical role in supporting the Ministry of Education in the delivery of quality education to senior high school students under the government’s flagship Free Senior High School initiative through a sustain supply of food commodity to schools across the country.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Reducing Imported Food Items
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba led NAFCO has helped to promote the consumption of Locally Grown Produce within this short period. Cereal importation over the years before the coming into office of President Nana Akufo Addo became a great source of worry to the government and all Ghanaians. Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba through MOFA initiated moves to increase the level of cereal production locally such as rice, maize and soya beans came on.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba led NAFCO played its role by purchasing these cereals from farmers and the requests made from state institutions has boosted cereal production locally and consequently, its consumption.
He has always emphasized that “Once we are able to produce what we consume, there is no point bringing in the foreign rice. It is government’s intention to actually cut off the importation of foreign rice. Gradually, we are reducing the number of foreign rice/food we feed into our second cycle institutions,”
He also maintained that “We do not expect farmers to carry their produce to the major cities in search of market; the license buying companies will come to the farm gates to buy their produce”. So this will be an encouragement to farmers to produce without distress over where to get market. “The most important thing is that we protect the Ghanaian farmer, they must not be cheated”. It is part of his strategic vision to ensure that, the importation of foreign rice into the country, especially to feed students in second cycle institutions, will soon be a thing of the past.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Monitoring and Evaluation
To abreast himself with firsthand information on the implementation challenges and to help shape further actions towards making NAFCO a success, he established a monitoring and evaluation unit. With his team, they visited the Ashanti regional warehouse in Kumasi and the Ejura farms in the Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipality on storage practices and the food chain processes respectively. This is to monitor project essential components and the project’s logic matrix.
To ensure NAFCO achieve an operation "zero complaint" this academic year, he was at Armed Forces Senior High/Tech and Tema Senior High Schools in Accra and Tema respectively, to continue engaging Headmasters, Store keepers and Matrons on his ongoing unannounced visits to public senior high schools around the country.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba continued with the monitoring and evaluation of the feeding component of the FSHS, at Labone and Accra Academy Senior High Schools in the Greater Accra Region. This is to offer instant remedial measures to savaging issues that could derail the success of the policy. Again, Food safety, quality and quantity are of a concern to him.
After deploying suppliers to the schools, it was much in the right direction that he embarks on field monitoring to see what is going on regarding the feeding of our younger ones.
In order to achieve value for money, he has always told school authorities to be very critical on what they receive into their stores. “Quality” is the watch word.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Job Creation
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba led NAFCO has created employment avenues for the government and Ghanaians as a whole. NAFCO under the leadership of Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba has guaranteed prices and ready market for food items which has gone a long way to motivate farmers to increase production and for others to go into farming. This move has helped to sustain the block farm concept within the Youth in Agriculture Program (YIAP) and in the long run, Mr. Aludiba has succeeded in creating more employment avenues for the youth for Ghana.
The CEO ensured over licensed 6000 suppliers is engaged to supply various SHS with food items under and FSHS programme. The CEO recently engaged the services of the national association of small scale palm oil producers and also the cocoa processing companies, to supply ALL SECOND CYCLE institutions under the FSHS programme with palm oil and hot chocolate respectively.
NAFCO’s performance over the last three years is also said to have generated about 3,000 direct jobs through its Licensed Buyers and Licensed Suppliers schemes and over 10,000 indirect jobs for warehouse workers, Loaders, farmers, drivers and other artisans.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Cooperation and Partnership
The celebrated Agriculturist as CEO of the National Food Buffer Stock Company as partners of Ghana Commodity Exchange(GCX) platform have strengthen to make NAFCO a success. Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba leadership contributed immensely during the inauguration of the Commodity Exchange's Operations, at the Export Trade House in Accra in 2018.
It is worthy of note that, the National Food Buffer Stock Company, provided warehouses located in Sandema, Tamale, Ejura, Wenchi and Kumasi for the use of the GCX's operations.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba through a request by the Hon. Minister for Food and Agriculture on July 14th 2017 in Brazil, for the Brazilian government to enter into a technical cooperation through CONAB-“Brazilian Food Storage Company”-to study Brazil’s best practices of storage in the food chain process.
His sterling performance has led National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) take in 2,750 tons of cereal from the ECOWAS Regional Food Security Reserve.
The cereal which was received by the NAFCO in its warehouses in Tamale and Yendi, composed of 1000 tons of maize, 750 tons of white rice, 500 tons of millet and 500 tons of sorghum. “This is a source of great relief especially for the schools around this region. The proximity will lead to availability and cut down on the cost of transportation. It will also help address the issue of storage for the schools,” he said.
In another partnership through Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba, the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) constructed nine warehouses and four pack houses in the three Regions of the North and Brong Ahafo Region with funding from the Government of Ghana (GOG), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water resources has lauded Ghana’s warehousing system and its role in ensuring food security within the continent. “I believe the systems in place here in Ghana where we have in place storage facilities in the cities as well as the rural areas is a good thing.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Nafco and the Government Flagship Campaigns
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Food Buffer Stock Company, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba has urged Ghanaians living abroad and desirous of coming home to consider taking up business interests in agriculture.
Addressing the newly-inaugurated Korean Branch of the New Patriotic Party in South Korea, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba stated, “through carefully targeted interventions the NPP government has introduced programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Free improved Seedlings and Fertilizer distribution and advanced mechanizations to promote youth development through agriculture”.
At the Africa –China Business Dialogue in Shanghai, China, organized by the African Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) and the West African Regional Magazine (TWARM). An event attended by mainly Chinese, Asian and African business leaders, investors, policymakers and financing institutions. Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba told the gathering about numerous interventions undertaken by government of Ghana through the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Fisheries, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives back to what he called the “glorious days of agriculture in Ghana”.
According to him, while programmes such as Planting for Export and Rural Development and Rearing are intended to revolutionary’s agriculture, whip up the interest and participation of young and business-minded persons and encourage employment generation through farming and its associated value-chain while the Rearing for Food and Jobs aims to develop the livestock industry.
As part of his keen interest in the youth to invest in agriculture, he advised Ghanaians living in Europe and other continents to invest in farming back home and make more money. Addressing the Ghanaian community in France at Paris, he pointed out that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration now supports the farmer in diverse ways to make more profits.
“The Planting for Food and Jobs policy alone provides key support to the farmer in order for him or her to make more profits in the end. We have vast arable lands for farming and government will also support farmers with subsidized fertilizer to boost their yield”.
Mr.Abdul-Hanan Aludiba on Corporate Social Responsibilities
The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has presented an amount of Ten Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty-Two Ghana Cedi (GHC 10,662.00) to the organizers of the Forum of Heads of Girls’ Senior High Schools (FOHGSHS) for their Camp meetings. The gesture which follows an appeal by FOHGSHS was to also demonstrate NAFCO’s commitment to the empowerment of girls in preparation for the future.
In addition to the money were assorted food items to be used to feed students who will be taking part in this year’s camping.
NAFCO under Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba donated an amount of Ghc10,000 to support the CHASS 57th conference as part of the cproporate social responsibility of NAFCO.
Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba on Recognition and Awards
The sterling performances of Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba as the CEO of NAFCO have attracted both national and international recognition and award.
The African Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) and the West African Regional Magazine (TWARM) honored the Chief Executive of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), with the West African Regional Magazine (TWARM) Business & Leadership Award.
“This is in recognition of your laudable performance in NAFCO, which has helped to accelerate development in the agriculture sector of Ghana, and for safeguarding sustainable food in the country”, the citation accompanying the award said. Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba was among 14 individuals and organizations honored on the sidelines of 6th Africa –China Business Dialogue in Shanghai, China.
Also, the United Patriots Group carried out a research among members, to find out which of the government ministers and appointees exhibited a degree of humility and respectfulness, and Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba was placed 12th out of 150 names mentioned at random. This is an outstanding recognition in the history of NAFCO.
The Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) handed over a facility to the tune of Ghc50M as first tranche of significant financial support for NAFCO’s operational needs in the agriculture sector. The amount is to enable NAFCO purchase grains from farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs for storage in state reserve and for supply to state institutions including government high schools under the Free Senior High School programme.
Last year, ADB gave a similar facility to NAFCO to the tune of Ghc20M purchase grains and according to the Managing Director of ADB, “NAFCO performed creditably and liquidated the facility on schedule.
It is quite clear and brilliant that, in just within three years, NAFCO has seen a monumental growth and facelift following the strategic roadmap set by the celebrated Agricultural Engineer, Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba as the Chief Executive Officer. National Food Buffer Stock Company with Mr.Abdul-Hanan Aludiba has played an important role in fulfilling its mandates by building strong food security through prudent management in service delivery. His strategic ideas have attracted national fortunes and international conglomerates.
NAFCO under Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba generate positive macro and microeconomic impact through value additions. - Macroeconomic: attraction of FDIs, national recognition, increase in exports, diversification of economy, and creation of employment; - Microeconomic: improved warehousing system, anchoring government flagship programmes, improved food security by making provision for post-harvest losses, improved quality grains, cut down of imported cereals, increased yield of productivity, enhanced licensing as well as greater export orientation. Many stakeholders have trusted the confidence of the leadership of Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba as he has proven beyond reasonable doubt in taking the NAFCO to becoming one of the world’s attractive agriculture and food security zone.
As part of his long vision for the NAFCO, he has always suggested that, governments must introduce robust policies to promote local entrepreneurship in agribusiness and ensure food security and quality grains. Needless to say that the NAFCO mandate has been overhauled and improved over the past three years, therefore, there is no doubt that Mr.Abdul-Wahab Hanan Aludiba legacy will last long and his strategic vision remain popular among the policy makers around the world.
Shamwil Abdul-Karim (Shamwil Ibn Islam Suhudoo)
Master’s in Business Planning (SBL UDS-Ghana)
Bachelors in Development Studies (UDS-Ghana)
Mini-MBA in Strategic Marketing (IOCB-UK)
Project Management Certificate (ISSER)