About $35.9 million grant has been allocated to the feed the future Ghana Market Systems and Resilience Activity (MSR) to support and strengthen agricultural market systems in the northern part of Ghana.
The Grant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would result in greater efficiency, productivity and investment in goods and services that drive agricultural-led economic growth.
This came to light at a workshop organised by the MSR on the importance and how to apply for the grant in Accra yesterday.
Speaking to the Media, the Agribusiness and Financial Services Team Leader for MSR, Mr Raymond Denteh, revealed that similar workshops would be held in the various regions in Ghana to educate more people about the grant process and how they can access the grant.
He explained that one could access the grant through the concept notes which “upon review by MSR and we feel you meet the criteria, you can put in a full application and then we give you the funds to support you implement the activities you want to carry out.”
He added that of the $35.9 million allocated to the MSR by the USAID, $6 million would be used for the grants whilst the remainder of the money would be allocated to equally important activities in the agricultural space.
He hinted that successful applicants would be given a minimum of $5,000 and maximum of $250,000.
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Director of MSR, Mr Eric Sunu, said the purpose of the grant was to ensure that the market system was more resilient, robust and inclusive.
He explained that the target was to get more women, youth and persons with disability (PWD) to access the grant.
He added that the grant would ensure adequate support for the northern part of Ghana and areas within the Zone Of Influence (ZOI).
A zone of influence is the area in which an activity or pressure could directly or indirectly impact part of the environment.
The ZOI, he said, included 17 districts in the 4 northern regions excluding the savannah region.
He hinted persons or businesses outside the ZOI could benefit from the grant provided their activities positively influence producers within the ZOI.
“This include service providers, processors, market people, but then they have to make sure it impacts those in the ZOI as the grant was to ensure they catalyse systemic change within this market systems,”he explained.
“We want to make sure the activity is systematic and sustainable and so the grant will bring about some sustainability and renovation that we require in the market the system,” he added.
Meanwhile, the MSR project began operation from April 1, 2022 and would continue through to March 31, 2027.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE & ELIZABETH OFFEI