African Development Fund approves $27.9 million grant

Posted: 24 November 2022 | | No comments yet

A $27.9 million fund has been approved to develop agricultural value chains in the Ghanaian Savannah region.

Ghana crop

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund has approved a $27.9 million grant that will be used in Ghana to develop agricultural chains in the Savannah region.

Through private sector investment, the African Development Bank Group (ADBG) has committed to supporting sustainable value chains associated with commercial maize, soybean and rice production (with an integrated poultry value chain) and generating employment for women and youth.

The Savannah Agriculture Value Chain Development Project will be put into fruition by Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 2023 to 2027. The ADBG forecasts that the Project will benefit at least 150,000 people indirectly and 50,000 directly.

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Additionally, ADBG has said that the Project 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.

Commenting on the funding, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, ADBG’s Acting Vice-President of its Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery Complex, 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.

“It would also alleviate the impact of climate change, in line with the Bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility.”

What will the grant be used for?

The ADBG has planned for the funding to be used to increase the climate-resilient production of maize, rice and soybean, as well as to support the poultry value chain, and generate employment for women and youth.

Additionally, the ADBG hopes that it will increase the incomes of farmers and support household nutrition, particularly in more vulnerable women-headed households.

The money will also reportedly be used to support the production of certified seeds by commercial farmers and work closely with the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, to assist smallholder farmers in obtaining equipment to improve planting and crop husbandry.

In relation to this, the ADBG has said that the 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.

What’s more, there are hopes that the Project will enhance the capacity of Micro and Small-sized Enterprises (SMEs) while offering skills development for youth and women through sustainable entrepreneurship and mentoring programs, particularly in the poultry value chain.

Commenting on the approval of the Project, Eyerusalem Fasika, Ghana Country Manager of the African Development Bank, said that there is “immense potential to contribute to sustainable food systems in Ghana.

“The project’s approval is an opportune time for the Bank to support the Government in its efforts to produce enough basic commodities to meet food security challenges and support industrialisation.”