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Business News of Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Source: Ifadnewsroom

Ghana receives IFAD financing help smallholder farmers boost
agricultural production and transformation

Rome, 18 May 2015 – Today the Government of the Republic of Ghana and
the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a
US$36.6 million loan and $10 million grant agreement to finance the
Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP).
This new programme will link smallholder farmers to agribusinesses to
enhance growth by helping them access the assets they need to increase
their productivity, competitiveness and incomes. The grant component
is intended to promote climate change adaptation under IFAD’s
Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme.
With a total cost of $113 million, the programme is cofinanced with a
$7.6 million contribution from the Government of Ghana, a $1.7 million
contribution from the participating districts, and a $4.6 million
contribution from the beneficiaries themselves.
It is expected that this investment will leverage additional private
investment of at least $17.5 million of agricultural loans from
financial institutions over the initial six years of implementation.
An additional $35 million will be sought from IFAD’s country
allocation for the period 2016-2018.
The financing agreement was signed today in Rome by Fifi F. Kwetey,
Minister of Food and Agriculture of Ghana, and by Michel Mordasini,
Vice President of IFAD.
“In partnership with Ghana, we are bringing together climate change
resilience with smart marketing approaches to strengthen each part of
the value chain, which in turn ensures more profits for small
farmers,” Mordasini said. “Programmes such as these create a
favourable environment for smallholder farmers, particularly for women
and youth, to engage in profitable agriculture businesses.”
Domestic and regional demand for food and cash crops is high, and
agribusinesses are interested in working with smallholder farmers.
However, there is the need to build and strengthen these business
relationships along the value chains.
The programme will initially concentrate on cassava, yam, maize,
sorghum, fruits and vegetables; and will leverage investments in
productive infrastructure and facilities for the selected value
chains. It will promote modern forms of conservation agriculture and
agroforestry systems to enhance productivity, climate resilience and
environmental sustainability of production systems.
GASIP will be implemented by a dedicated unit in the Ministry of Food
and Agriculture of Ghana and will help 12,000 rural households,
particularly women and young people, to improve their economic
activities and livelihoods.
Since 1980, IFAD has invested a total of $271.5 million in 17
programmes and projects in Ghana, which have generated a total
investment of $780 million, benefiting about 3.5 million rural people.

Notes to Editors
Ulac Demirag, Country Programme Manager for Ghana will be available
for interviews in person or by phone.
Press release No.: IFAD/37/2015
IFAD invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty,
increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience.
Since 1978, we have provided nearly US$16.6 billion in grants and
low-interest loans to projects that have reached about 445 million
people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a
specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN's food and
agriculture hub.