Agriculture is fundamental to Ghana’s economy employing almost ~45% of the population and contributing ~21% to GDP. The Government of Ghana (GoG) considers it a key sector and has recently unveiled key flagship projects with the aim of increasing productivity. Investments in agriculture are guided by the 2nd Phase of Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP II) (2014 – 2017), which is the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) and is currently under review. GoG’s prioritization of the sector, coupled with excellent agronomic conditions, a good technological input base and a strong set of partners (private and public) puts Ghana on a path toward transformation of its agricultural systems and increased productivity and incomes of small holder farmers.
The agricultural sector in Ghana however still faces key constraints that curtail its becoming competitive to drive economic growth. These constraints include – sub-optimal sector coordination; low yields; weak market linkages and high post-harvest losses and low access to finance.
To address these challenges, AGRA will build on past successes and learnings in Ghana where AGRA invested US$ 60M in Input and Output Markets Systems Development, Innovative Finance, Research Capacity Building and Policy & Advocacy but with a renewed emphasis on country support and policy engagement. Additional investments will include enhancing systems and farmer level development. AGRA’s strategy emphasizes gender inclusive transformation through gender integrated approaches to drive equitable access to inputs, finance and agriculture education. The strategy targets two Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs); the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions using an end to end delivery approach to drive impact at scale over a 5- year period and targets 1.2M Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) at a cost of US$ 26M. Specific interventions will include:
- Policy and Country Support – to enhance sector planning, coordination and implementation to deliver on national priorities:
- Support review of the sector strategy – METASIP II which will guide the development of METASIP III and operationalization of selected flagships projects in addition to strengthening sector coordination and implementation capacity in order to create an enabling environment that is attractive to private sector;
- Facilitate the development of a ‘smart subsidy’ model for increased adoption of yield enhancing technologies;
- System and Farmer Level Development – in selected value chains and regions to develop input and output market systems in order to drive productivity, strengthen access to markets and finance and increase resilience;
- Establish and coordinate multi-sectoral players such as donors, private sector etc platform in the Brong Ahafo region in order to exploit market opportunities effectively;
- Provide Technical Assistance (TA) to strengthen the capacity of the Northern Sector Agriculture Investment Coordination Unit (NSAICU) to coordinate private sector investment in the Northern region
Enhance credit access – operationalize the Ghana Incentive Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) and value chain financing (VCF);
- Integrated value chain investments to enhance commercialization and adoption of productivity enhancing technologies and strengthen market access and linkages