$ 2.5m USAID boost for smallholder farmers

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting smallholder farmers with $2.5 million to enable them to get access to affordable fertiliser supply to increase food production.

An estimated 100,000 smallholder farmers in the Bono, Ashanti and Bono East Regions would benefit from the package.

The USAID/Ghana Missions Director, Kimberly Rosen, who made these known said the initiative was in partnership with the private sector and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Techiman on Thursday, Ms Rosen, noted that the programme sought to help address challenges smallholder farmers face to become competitive.

It is aimed at increasing investments that will enhance smallholder farmers, including women resilience through access to improve agricultural technologies, inputs and financing and markets.

This, she noted had a dire consequence on food productivity and security as well as livelihoods of the people, particularly the rural folk.

“We know that this year a confluence of crisis threatens to push many Ghanaians into hunger. Food and fertiliser prizes are already high because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices have soared even higher due to the Russia and Ukraine conflict. With sub-Saharan Africa hardest hit, we know this puts many families at risk,” she noted.

According to her, the US government flagship food security programme – Feed the Future was working with the private sector and the government to address the issue.

Madam Elizabeth Dwamena, Chief Executive Officer of Northgate Agro, Supplier Credit Guarantee Dealer on her part said the support by USAID and its partners would not only benefit farmers, but fertiliser suppliers as well, adding that “Agro dealers will our utmost best to ensure effective implementation of the initiative.”

The Bono East Regional Minister, Akwasi Adu-Gyan, in a speech read on his behalf expressed gratitude to the partnership of organisations – YARA, USAID, AFAP and AGRA- for the laudable initiative to support the resilience of smallholder farmers to improve agricultural technologies and productivity.

He appealed to all key stakeholders in the Grow Ghana Initiative and the Last Mile component to be guided by a high level of integrity, and be fully committed to the attainment of the project goals.

FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, TECHIMAN

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