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Business News of Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Source: GNA

US launch Project to boost Agric Financing in Ghana

The USAID-Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID-FinGAP) was on Tuesday launched in Accra.

The five-year, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project focuses on attracting finance for rice, maize and soy value chains in Northern Ghana.

A statement from the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy said the project would identify and develop agribusiness opportunities and facilitate investments from financial institutions through the use of business advisory service providers.

USAID-FinGAP falls under the United States’ Partnership for Growth (PFG) and Joint Country Action Plan with the Government of Ghana. The PFG’s overall goal is to assist Ghana to sustain and broaden its economic growth by addressing one of the key constraints of private sector: access to credit.

Furthermore, the project is part of USAID’s Feed the Future Program, which aims to establish commercially-driven agricultural development services critical to sustaining food insecurity in Ghana.

USAID-FinGAP was initiated in July 2013 and has since identified agribusiness investment opportunities in the three value chains. The project has also partnered with commercial banks, leasing companies, private equity and impact investors willing to provide necessary financing.

Business advisory service providers have been mobilized through performance-based contracts to provide consulting services to agribusinesses in order to generate investments from financial institutions.

Commenting on the relevance of the project, Mr Jim Bever, USAID Ghana, Mission Director, said “FinGAP represents a commitment by the American people, not just towards increasing food security but also in reducing poverty and encouraging inclusive agriculture-led economic growth and development here in Ghana.”

Mr Rick Dvorin who serves as the project’s Chief of Party described FinGAP’s approach to addressing the access to finance constraint as “a partnership-driven model, leveraging the capacity of private sector investors to define the technology, investment, and capacity building required for Ghana to gain a competitive advantage and meet its internal food security needs.”