David Asare Asiamah (27), Shortlisted For The Future Awards 2015

A Ghanaian farmer and entrepreneur, has been shortlisted for The Future Awards Africa 2015. The extraordinary work he has done in his chosen field makes him a nominee for The Future Awards Africa Prize in The Future Awards Africa Prize in Agriculture 2015.

With this, he has made the coveted list of 50 of the brightest and best young Africans in the past one year, and has joined an elite group of young African leaders recognised by The Future Project over the years for outstanding work.

The Future Awards Africa, now in its 10th year, has been described by the World Bank as “The Nobel Prize for young Africans” and FORBES International as the “most important youth awards”, is targeted at recognising young Africans between ages 18 to 31 doing incredible work in various fields; with 11 categories including the ultimate prize, The Future Africa Awards Prize for the Young Person of the Year.

David has been recipient of multiple awards including the African Achiever Awards for agriculture excellence, GUBA for recognition of innovation and best practice in corporate sustainability and the Ghana Top 30 Under 30 amongst others. He is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum and belongs to the Kumasi Hub.

With energy, willingness to learn, human reach and emerging public figure to the next generation of agribusiness, David founded Agro Mindset Group- a mission-driven firm specializing in agribusiness ventures- at tender age of 22. The focus of the group is to run highly profitable farm-based enterprises with long term growth potential and showcase this know how to young aspiring farmers in an industry-relevant manner. Agro Mindset strives to be on the cutting edge of innovation and create new industry standards across the spectrum.

David strongly believes that innovation and creativity are invaluable assets in today’s global economy and as such the youth should be allowed to experiment with ideas that have the propensity to change the way we live.

Any line of work that is impact-driven, including the realm of education, is much about behaviour change through acquisition and implementation by benefactors. With his overarching conviction “if we believe in ourselves and our ideas and if we work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve”, David has demonstrated beyond par what his conviction actually means in verity. A few years down the line, Agro Mindset has achieved significant milestones. The Agro Mindset Farms, a subsidiary of the group has seen expansion on a grand scale, and newer ideas to make it even bigger and more productive have been at the forefront of the group’s plans. The farm produced over a million eggs in less than twelve months since its inception, which is a testament of a working model, and a compelling success story of the youth’s engagement in agriculture. The Group aims to adopt more innovative, cutting-edge technologies to produce animal feed, manage waste, and construct solar power plants, “these would further set us apart from the African norm” says David.

David has the passion, willingness, desire, motivation, attitude, confidence and persistence to be part of the process of affecting positive change by both leading the way forward and being the first mover of a new way of thinking and doing in African agriculture. Beyond the talk, he focuses with laser precision on the implementation of possible solutions to challenges, END OF STORY. What is more compelling is David’s willingness to see where he can add value to other people’s work in the agriculture sector and apt to listen to suggestions and constructive criticisms of those around him in order to be better at what he does, especially in the context of Agro Mindset.

An astute agropreneur, he believes, and has shown at various levels that he can make a positive difference in the lives of Ghanaians and beyond, by using his farms to enterprise, teach and showcase, not just the potential, but the realities of the sector. He also breaks down many stereotypes and the misplaced notion that farming is the path out of poverty for those only living in challenging, rural, resource-constrained environments; while graduates are entitled to white collar non-existent jobs.

Between 2009 and 2014, David worked on a farm in the UK, where he appreciated and learned first-hand the scale of mechanised commercial farming; this was an eye-opening experience. In the wake of such an experience in 2009 was Agro Mindset born to facilitate youth engagement in agriculture in a sustainable, industry-relevant manner.

Based on the challenges he faced from starting a commercial farm in Ghana, Mr Asiamah founded a logistics company to assist other young farmers and new farm entrants to have effective links to the market. He explains, “by helping them to commercialise means to increase their engagement with markets; increasing fractions of crops and animal products being destined for sale; increasing factors of production being acquired from the market- machinery and tools, seed, fertiliser, crop protection chemicals, veterinary drugs, animal feed-and also to hire labour, borrow funds, engage in land acquisition and acquire technical advice and market information”.

Eventually, instead of the traditional buyer-seller relationship and adhoc transactions all the way along the supply chain, Agro Mindset is building relationships and networks through which the farmer produces to the buyer’s specifications. Not only do such relationships facilitate the movement of desirable products to consumers, but they also facilitate continual improvements in the chain, something that is impossible with adhoc transactions.

David has demonstrated that agribusiness is not only for the aged, resource-poor farmer, but that the young, given the proper training, exposure, and support can make positive impacts in this noble sector, and literally ‘feed the world’.

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