The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund has approved a 27.9 million dollar grant to Ghana for the development of agricultural value chains in the Savannah region. The grant will increase the climate-resilient production of maize, rice and soybean, support the poultry value chain, and generate employment for women and youth.
It will increase the incomes of farmers and support household nutrition, especially in more vulnerable women-headed households.
This would be achieved through the facilitation of private sector investment in sustainable value chains associated with commercial maize, soybean and rice production, with an integrated poultry value chain, which will primarily involve women and youth.
The Savannah Agriculture Value Chain Development Project will be implemented by Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 2023 to 2027. Overall, the project will benefit at least 150, 000 people indirectly and 50,000 directly. It will add to the production of at least 8,000 hectares of new rice, maize and soybean, which will improve feed availability for the poultry industry.
This was contained in a statement issued in Accra.
This grant, the statement noted, aligns with the Bank’s medium-term development framework for 2022-2025, which seeks to provide conditions for the private sector to boost growth and create abundant employment opportunities, especially for the youth by transforming agriculture and industry. It is also aligned to the Bank’s priority area focusing on the development of agro-ecological zones, especially the Savannah regions of Africa and creating opportunities for the continent’s youth.
The Bank’s Acting Vice-President of its Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery Complex, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, said building local capacity would help reduce imports and help Ghana to mitigate the negative impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global food systems. She noted it would also alleviate the impact of climate change, in line with the Bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility.
The grant will support farmers with farm inputs to produce climate-resilient rice, maize and soybean. It will also support the production of certified seeds by commercial farmers and work closely with the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, to support smallholder farmers with equipment to improve planting and crop husbandry.
This support will include the enforcement of community by-laws and promote the use of hybrid seeds, good agriculture practices and sound water, climate resilience and adaptation and integrated pest management. The project will also enhance the capacity of Micro and Small-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and offer skills development for youth and women through sustainable entrepreneurship and mentoring programs, especially in the poultry value chain.