KITA: An example of Ghanaian greatness

Feb 5, 2024

May 2023; after a few online calls with Samuel - director of the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA) - which were arranged by a mutual acquaintance, we embarked on our first trip to Ghana. The plan was to spend 10 days at the KITA campus to further discuss and develop our business plan. Shortly after arriving in Accra, we hopped on the bus to Kumasi, where we took a taxi for the last few miles. With no prior visuals, we were unsure of what awaited us. After a brief taxi ride, we found ourselves at a - at first sight - relatively small and simple farm-like campus, which was quite different from our expectations of a larger institution near the Kumasi University (KNUST). Little did we realise how crucial KITA would become in setting up the company…

The Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture has been around since 1984 and is at the forefront of local agricultural consultancy, training and education. Their primary goal is to positively impact the local economy by boosting agricultural projects and knowledge. And they live up to this goal. On campus you see tons of different projects in the field of both agri- and aquaculture, partly initiated by the students for educational purposes and partly initiated by commercial parties in collaboration with KITA (like ourselves). Currently hosting approximately 300 students, with 50 residing on campus, KITA’s relatively small size is overshadowed by the abundance of projects and people, ensuring an engaging experience for all. It’s a remarkable place that uses knowledge to positively impact the local economy.

So back to our first visit in May 2023. Immediately after arrival we got around the table together with the KITA staff. We had a great discussion on our concept and discussed how we could further develop it. Throughout the week, we explored the town, met community chiefs, visited potential production sites, and attended local festivities to gain more insights into the culture. KITA made our first visit to Ghana a big success and helped us create a clear vision of how we would further develop the concept. In August, we again stayed at the campus and conducted a small production demonstration, set up the local entity, prepared the first production pilot and put together a team. Currently, we are in Kumasi again and have started our first production pilot, which is running smoothly. Also, we have started preparing the first piece of land that will be used for commercial production, starting in May. 

Due to the experience, local connections and great mindset at KITA, our project has had a flying start. Obviously, we will continue this collaboration in the future. The production pilot will run until March and in the meantime, we will make all necessary preparation for starting the commercial productions in May. Because of KITA’s great experience with several agricultural projects, they know exactly what is necessary and who to approach. From permits to construction and from setting up the donation program to human resources; they have been there before. We feel lucky that we were (coincidentally) introduced to this energetic and experienced group of people, because without them we would have never been able to develop the concept at this pace.