Felix Kamassah is a Ghanaian farmer and owns the agribusiness company Maphlix Trust which supplies vegetables to brands like KFC and Shoprite and to markets like UK and Dubai.
Farming has always been part of Kamassah but he did it on the side while working as an economist in the banking sector in Ghana. Kamassah picked up the culture of farming from his aunt who doubled as a nurse and a farmer and imbibed in Kamassah the need to take farming as a lifestyle, according to Howwemadeitinafrica.
With his wife as a business partner, they first planted cassava and maize and in no time, expanded to include other crops driven by local demands. Seeing the early prospect of farming, he quit his regular job in 2013 and established Maphlix Trust.
He now grows 27 different vegetables, tubers, and fruits and has also grown from supplying a few local shops in Ghana to supplying markets in the UK, Finland, Germany and Dubai. Brands like KFC and Shoprite are part of his clients.
What is more, he also employs over 150 permanent staff and usually recruits over 70 temporal laborers when it is time for harvesting.
In Africa, one of the major challenges people face when they want to go into farming is access to land. Thankfully, Kamassah has managed to cross that hurdle. He has expanded his land under production to 760 hectares, including 80 greenhouses
He also buys from a network of 654 smallholder farmers in addition to providing them with financial support and giving them access to seed, tractor services and training.
Kamassah credits the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) for his foreign clients. The GEPA helped him to participate in a trade fair in Germany where he and his wife did their own research to better appreciate the European Market.
“We again exhibited our product at the fair in 2015 and that’s when we started getting orders. Because we were already set up back home, we could supply quickly,” he explained. “A lot of those original clients are still with us today.”
In Ghana, his biggest customer is KFC. He supplies the global brand with tomatoes, lettuce and cabbage. For Kamassah, supplying brands like KFC will go a long way to reducing the country’s import of tomatoes and other vegetables.
“Our country spends US$300 million annually to import tomatoes. Our goal is to claim at least 40% of this local production gap,” said Kamassah.
Maphlix is also the biggest producer and export of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. The company also processes sweet potatoes into gari, a granular flour.