The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported smallholder farmers with $2.5 million to enable them to get access to affordable fertiliser supply to increase food production in the country.
An estimated 100,000 smallholder farmers in the Bono, Ashanti and Bono East Regions benefited from the package.
The USAID/Ghana Missions Director, Kimberly Rosen, who made these known stated that the initiative is in partnership with the private sector and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
Ms Rosen, speaking at the launch of the programme in Techiman, noted that the programme sought to help address challenges smallholder farmers face to become competitive. She added that the initiative is aimed at increasing investments that will enhance smallholder farmers, including women resilience through access to improve agricultural technologies, inputs and financing and markets.
The USAID/Ghana Missions Director noted that the pack of support for the smallholder farmers has dire consequences on food productivity and security as well as livelihoods of the people, particularly the rural folk.
“We know that this year, a confluence of crisis threatens to push many Ghanaians into hunger. Food and fertiliser prizes are already high because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices have soared even higher due to the Russia and Ukraine conflict. With sub-Saharan Africa hardest hit, we know this puts many families at risk.”Kimberly Rosen
Feed the Future, Working with the Private Sector
According to Ms Rosen, the US government flagship food security programme– Feed the Future, is working with the private sector and the government to address the issue.
Madam Elizabeth Dwamena, Chief Executive Officer of Northgate Agro, Supplier Credit Guarantee Dealer, on her part, said the support by USAID and its partners would not only benefit farmers, but fertiliser suppliers as well. She added that “Agro dealers will our utmost best to ensure effective implementation of the initiative.”
The Bono East Regional Minister, Akwasi Adu-Gyan, in a speech read on his behalf expressed gratitude to the partnership of organisations – YARA, USAID, AFAP and AGRA for the laudable initiative to support the resilience of smallholder farmers to improve agricultural technologies and productivity.
Mr. Akwasi Adu-Gyan, moreover, appealed to all key stakeholders in the Grow Ghana Initiative and the Last Mile component to be guided by a high level of integrity, and be fully committed to the attainment of the project goals.
It can be recalled that in 2021, USAID/Ghana helped over 63,000 farmers – over half of them women – in northern Ghana to access agricultural inputs and finance, an intervention which generated over $12 million in sales. In the same year, the Agency also organized 3,000 women to save $250,000 through village savings and loan associations.
Through the Feed the Future initiative, USAID applies a behavior-change approach to help Ghana achieve self-reliance by enhancing agricultural productivity and profitability, strengthening competitive market systems, increasing access to finance, promoting resilience, optimizing economic inclusion, improving nutrition, and advancing country leadership through evidence-based interventions.