An Interview with Pawpaw Farmer (& Returnee) Bobby Gyesi

An Interview with Pawpaw Farmer (& Returnee) Bobby Gyesi

Bobby and his siblings started SGA Farms “to make their mother proud,” and embedded this vision in the very name of the farm – Sheila Gyesi Akosua being their mother’s name.

In the five years since their inception in 2018, they’ve already managed to establish themselves in foreign markets and are excited that their mother can walk into her favourite store in the UK – Marks & Spencer – and see her children’s produce. 

However, Ghana, for all its natural riches, is a difficult business environment, Bobby shares. We have issues: accessing credit at affordable rates (compare 30% Ghana commercial bank interest rates, with 8% abroad); dealing with currency volatility and inflation (40% this year, conservatively); managing high taxation (20% VAT + levies); and navigating logistics (transporting his produce can take 50% more time because of poor road quality.)

Add to all this…climate change. Bobby notes how much he worries about erratic rainfall and warmer temperatures. 

Despite these challenges, their business is bolstered by their story, the undeniable quality of their goods – and strategy. They knew that farming in Ghana could only be viable (particularly at their scale: 300 acres of pawpaw, coconut and other produce) if they targeted an export market. The local market, Bobby explains, could not absorb all their produce – nor could it protect them from domestic economic turbulence. 

He and his siblings work hard “to make a difference.” They create economic opportunities for those in their community, for example, by generating jobs (31 direct and numerous indirect.) Beyond their own farm, they want to uplift Ghanaian agriculture more broadly. Rather than speaking only of SGA Farms, they want to establish “Ghanaian pawpaw” on the international market. 

Want to try the SGA pawpaw as part of our dried fruit range? Now's the time!

Enter "LOVEPAWPAW" at checkout for 10% off all pawpaw products :)

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