GCAP To Disburse $9.5m To Agribusinesses

The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) is to disburse an amount of $9.5 million among 31 agri- businesses to support them in their projects.

Mr. Eric Addae, Communication Specialists of GCAP, who disclosed this   at a media retreat held at Dodowa at the weekend, said the grant was meant to   address the constraints hindering the growth of the beneficiaries.

“The grant is meant to support the organisations to prepare their land for planting, construct warehouses, extend electricity to their farms, and create access roads to their farms,” he said.

He said the 31 organisations were selected among 171 organisations which responded to GCAP’s first call for proposal to support nucleus farmers to address the challenges facing them, so that they could in turn support smallholder farmers, who rely on them for inputs and services.

Mr. Addae said each farmer organisation would receive   between $200,000 and $500,000 to finance their farming operations.

He said the project being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and its agencies, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Ghana, Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, Lands Commission and Environmental Protection Agency would support the cultivation of maize, rice and vegetables in the Accra Plains and rice, soya and vegetables in the SADA Zone.

The GCAP Project Coordinator, Mr Alabi Bortey   said the GCAP, is a five-year government of Ghana project to support the growth of the agriculture sector.

The $145-million project which started in 2012 would end on 2017, supported by the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is being rolled out in the Accra Plains and the Northern Agriculture Zone (SADA Zone).

The World Bank is providing a loan of $100 million, while USAID is supporting the project with a grant of $45 million.

“GCAP seeks to ensure increased access to secure land, private sector finance, input and output markets by smallholder farms from public-private partnerships in commercial agriculture in the Accra Plains and the Northern Agriculture Zone (SADA),” Mr. Bortey said.

He said the project would establish a mechanism for matching interested communities with available land to interested investors, saying state land acquisition would not be supported under the project, in line with the principles of responsible agriculture investments.

“The GCAP project-supported investments will be preceded by a careful ascertainment of the existing rights in a proposed area to ensure that rights are respected, livelihoods protected, communities empowered to negotiate beneficial agreements and ensure that investments rest upon a secure legal foundation,” Mr. Bortey said.

He said GCAP, among others, would carry out land clearing, levelling, farm roads and farm building at nucleus farms and adjacent out-growers, facilitate the connection of nucleus investors to the existing power grid.

“GCAP is working to secure Public Private Partnership transactions in the rehabilitation and construction of warehouses, agro-processing plants in the SADA Zone, and securing PPP transactions in irrigation infrastructure in the Accra Plains,” Mr. Bortey said.

The Project Coordinator said GCAP would fund eligible start-up agri-business investment activities through the provision of matching grants, support the formation and expansion of out-grower schemes and contract farming.

“ GCAP will facilitate business development through the provision of grants to strengthen the capacity of eligible farmers’ organisation, input dealers, mechanisation centres, processors and other agricultural service providers along the value chain of maize, rice , soya and vegetables,” he said. By David Adadevoh

 

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