HJA Africa

Makers of OFA

HJA Africa, Boundary Road, East Legon, Accra, Ghana

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Mango flowering last month in Brong-Ahafo using OFA

Hello from Henry and the OFA team,

These are times full of opportunity for farmers looking for more yield and less cost, sustainably in both financial and environmental terms.

While its “out of season” for the majority of Ghana’s famers, as rain-fed farming usually starts in March  in southern Ghana, and July in Northern Ghana, many  tree crop farmers are very busy around this time ensuring their trees are developing plenty of flowers that will turn to fruit and a good yield in few months’ time.  The OFA team have been very busy helping tree farmers in these tasks as OFA is extremely effective at every stage of tree development including inducing flowers, stopping mealybugs and diseases, and maximising harvests.

We are also working on some exciting initiatives for the rain-fed season.

And the OFA team are also very excited to have been further recognised recently as an outstanding impactful social enterprise.   I will share more in future  posts.

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OFA UPDATE 2023

I am writing with my good wishes for 2024, and to share some highlights of progress made  during 2023 by HJA Africa’s OFA liquid fertilizer for all crops.

First,  thank you for your interest, support or  partnership with us at HJA Africa. So many people have helped us  make this a year of significant progress for OFA, and we appreciate you all.

Our mission is  to catalyse  doubling net  farm incomes across Ghana and then Africa sustainably, and so transform the continent’s development.

 

In 2023 we have made some early strides towards this, by adding up to $10m to farm profits in Ghana, and by building  foundations for   greatly increasing  that figure in the  coming year in Ghana and its neighbours.

We have increased our sales close to 3 times compared to 2022, helped by a  significant advertising  campaign including recruiting Anim Addo, who is Ghana’s best known agriculture journalist, to become  OFA brand ambassador.

We have  demonstrated some significant Unique Selling Points for OFA for the key crops of rice and mango.

For rice, field trials showed OFA to be more effective against rice blast disease than synthetic fungicides costing more than twice as much,  on top of OFA accelerating time to harvest by ten days and giving substantial yield increases.

For mango,  OFA is proving effective in many farmer trials against the most serious problem for most mango farmers in Ghana, BBS (Bacterial Black Spot) as well as assisting flowering, reducing flower drop, dealing with mealybugs, helping solve anthracnose,  and generally substantially increasing yields, all at low cost.

For cocoa, we are getting excellent feedback from the  growing numbers of farmers using OFA across Ghana.

OFA won awards as Outstanding Ghana-made fertilizer in the 2023 Ghana Agricultural and Agro-Processing Awards, and  African organic fertilizer of the year at the 2023 African Agricultural Excellence and Leadership awards. We are grateful for this recognition of our growing impact and success.

We continued  partnerships with several research institutions including CSIR SARI who published important journal  papers  confirming OFA’s outstanding  cost effectiveness for maize and for cowpea, based on three years of field work results. We are  also starting new research trials of OFA with the West African Centre for Crop Improvement, to demonstrate  how OFA can cut production costs whilst increasing yields  for vegetables.

We  completed registration of OFA for use  in Togo and made progress on  registration in Burkina Faso. We also registered with Ecowas for import tariff  free exports of OFA within West Africa, ready to expand OFA  sales into Ghana’s neighbours in 2024.

We made significant improvements to  our production facilities, and now have capacity to produce 1.5 million litres a year of OFA, sufficient to treat up to 3 million acres of crops for the  growing season, and more than enough to meet Ghana’s fertilizer requirements.

We strengthened some of our internal systems and are continuing  work on others, including a new Monitoring Evaluation and Learning system, to ensure we are well prepared for further growth in both impact and sales in 2024

We are very grateful to GIZ for awarding us a grant in 2023 which has significantly assisted our progress.

Once again, our thanks to all of you who have helped us in ‘23, and we  look forward to achieving much more in ‘24!

Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year

Henry

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GHANA-MADE FERTILIZER BRAND OF THE YEAR AWARD AT THE GAAPA AWARDS

At the Ghana Agriculture and Agro-Processing Awards (GAAPA) held on 11 August 2023 at the Accra Movenpick hotel, HJA Africa’s OFA (Organic Farming Aid) fertilizer won the award for Ghana-made Fertilizer Brand of the year.

This is another milestone on OFA’s journey to transform the productivity, profitability, product quality and sustainability of agriculture in Ghana and across Africa, by giving farmers amazing returns on investment, typically 30:1 (that is yield increases worth at least 30 times the cost of the OFA they use), that are also very affordable for all farmers. OFA also delivers huge environmental and climate change benefits for all of us. And in these challenging times, when many farmers cannot afford synthetic fertilizers or find their costs outweigh their benefits, it is wonderful news for Ghana that our 100% locally made product OFA is not just effective and affordable, but can already be produced in sufficient quantities to meet all our farmers’ needs, and to more than double Ghana’s total yield gains from fertilizer use.

HJA Africa are delighted by this award’s recognition of the progress OFA is making in helping Ghana’s farmers, and we believe the award will also help make many more farmers aware of OFA and the big benefits it can give them.

HJA Africa wish to sincerely thank our farmer customers, our over 100 input dealer partners, our key research partners including the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the University of Ghana, our regulators the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and many other partners including the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre, who all have helped make this achievement possible.

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The jackfruit tree in our back garden, restored to fruitfulness with OFA.

Growing back better!

 

Welcome to our updated blog. We suffered from a hacker attack, and our backups failed, so our website has been out of action for a while. Thanks to good work by our team and by our webmasters DA Tech, we are back, and we welcome you to our improved site.

 

Difficulties are often also doors to opportunity. True for our website, and true for current challenges with high prices for inorganic fertilizer, which mean many farmers believe they cannot afford to get the yields they need, or that even if they can afford inorganic fertilizer. It no longer makes economic sense, with its costs outweighing its benefits.

 

My recent article ((linked here) explains why, in our home country of Ghana at least (and soon in other African countries too), there isn’t really a fertilizer crisis, but rather an OFA Opportunity.

 

Our vision is to significantly increase the productivity, profitability, quality and sustainability of African agriculture leading to improved livelihoods and food security. We also aim to deliver big environmental and climate change mitigation and adaptation gains.

 

It’s exciting to be making strides towards delivering the vision, as tens of thousands of farmers are already using OFA with great results, and with our sales continuing to grow at least three fold year on year, our impact is increasing fast.

 

Alongside promoting OFA we are working on other similarly highly cost effective initiatives to help deliver our vision, particularly regarding improving food security – watch this space!

 

#OFA #HJAAFRICA #FoodSecurity #Organic #FertilizerCrisis #Ghana

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