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Photo of Edward Kofi Ahiabor

Edward Kofi Ahiabor

Production and Quality Control Manager, Tip Top Foods

Ghana

What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

“Born” into a farming family, Edward Kofi Ahiabor started farming at a very young age.  His father used buckets to draw water from a well to irrigate his crops. This he saw to be very tedious which inspired him to start using pumps for irrigation.  Having been successful in tube well drilling he has been able to increase his land holding to approximately 10 hectares, permanently lined with pipes. He therefore farms throughout the year.  With his educational background, he could have worked in several places but seeing farming as a business and with determination, he has been able to grow his horticulture farm from one-sixth of an acre to ten hectares. 

A number of farmers in his area are using his knowledge in irrigation to start their own irrigation projects on their farms. He helps by training other farmers how to use and maintain their irrigation systems.  As a role model, Africa’s agricultural and agribusiness professionals will learn a lot from Ahiabor as he believes that for one to be successful they have to work hard, educate their children and think of farming as a business. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • I was born into a horticulture farming family.  During my formative years, I had to get up at 4:00 am daily to irrigate the family vegetable farm by drawing water from wells using a bucket with a rope until 6:30 a.m. before going to school.
  • From my early teenage years, I resolved to make a change in this system of irrigation, which was very tedious. 
  • For my efforts irrigating the family vegetable farm, my father rewarded me with my own 12 horticulture beds (2 *15m each) to start his own vegetable enterprise.  From these beds, I managed to save and sponsor my own high school and university education.
  • Because of my desire and determination to bring a change in the system of irrigation in my community, I opted to study agriculture even though I had qualified for medical school.

How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • Field trips to successful agribusiness entities should be encouraged on weekends.
  • The old practice of housing students on research stations as was exemplified by University of Ghana on rotational basis where they are taken through the practical aspect of agriculture should be reintroduced.
  • Career talks by successful agribusiness persons should form part of departmental lectures.

Career highlights

  • Tip Top Foods Ltd (own company) – 1991 to date :   Production and Quality control Manager.
  • Government of Ghana/Office of the President/ Keta Municipal Assembly – 2004-2008: Municipal Chief Executive.
  • Anlo Secondary School  -1992,1995-97:  Head of Science Department.

 Educational background

  • University:     
    • BSc.  Agriculture,  University of Ghana.
    • MPhil. Soil Science, University of Ghana.