In a bid to increase the production of maize, rice, and soybeans, the African Development (AfDB) Fund’s board of directors has approved a $27.9 million grant to Ghana to support the development of agricultural value chains in the Savannah region.
According to AfDB, the grant will increase the support for the poultry value chain and generate employment for women and youth. It will also boost farmers’ incomes and support household nutrition.
The capital will also 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 with equipment to improve planting and crop husbandry.
The Savannah Agriculture Value Chain Development Project will be implemented by Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 2023 to 2027. The AfDB predicts that the project will benefit at least 150,000 people indirectly and 50,000 directly, as well as adding to the production of at least 8,000 hectares of new rice, maize and soybean, which will improve feed availability for the poultry industry.
AfDB’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. It would also alleviate the impact of climate change, in line with the Bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility.”
AfDB’s sector director of agriculture and industry, Martin Fregene, said “AfDB is building on earlier investments in the savannah areas of Ghana, putting 20,000 hectares of maize and soybean under production using conservation agriculture practices and technologies. This project has come at a time that Ghana seeks to enhance domestic production and reduce imports. These are the key objectives of [the] bank’s Feed Africa Strategy.”
Ghana country manager of the African Development Bank, Eyerusalem Fasika, explained that “the approval of this project is a significant addition to the bank’s active agriculture portfolio in the country with immense potential to contribute to sustainable food systems in Ghana.
Furthermore, 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.”