US$22m boost for agribusiness
The USAID-Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project, USAID-FinGAP, has been launched in Accra.
The five-year project wil focus on attracting finance options for rice, maize and soy value chains in northern Ghana.
The US$22 million project will identify and develop agri-business opportunities and facilitate investments from financial institutions through the use of business advisory service providers.
The Director of USAID Mission, Mr Jim Bever, speaking at the launch of the project, stated that FinGAP was bringing commercial investments into agriculture, not only to increase food security but also to reduce poverty. He said the beneficiaries of the FinGAP would include farmers and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who were into agribusiness.
Mr Bever also pointed out that FinGAP would support USAID and Ghana’s Feed the Future strategy, which aims to establish commercially driven agricultural development services critical to sustainably reducing food insecurity.
He said FinGAP would also contribute to joint efforts by USAID and the government of Ghana to address major constraints to Ghana’s economic growth, including the development of financial sector infrastructure and supporting SMEs access to finance.
The Minister of Food and Agricultural, Mr Clement Kofi Humado, who also spoke at the launch, stated that Ghana had not been able to exploit its huge agricultural potential to the fullest because of the low investment in that sector.
He said agriculture could not deliver on its goals of ensuring food security, providing adequate raw materials for industries, creating employment and increasing incomes for all agricultural actors if adequate investment was not made into it.
The minister noted that addressing the problem of low investment in agriculture had been and continued to be tackled in various fronts. He said at global, regional and national levels, efforts had been made to reverse the trend.
“The African Agribusiness and agro-industries initiative is one of such effort that was launched in 2010, a joint initiative by the AU, the UN agencies and African Development Bank to mobilise resources for investment in agro-food sector development in Africa,” he added.
Mr Humado also said FinGAP was coming at a time that agribusiness development was high on the government’s agenda and therefore thanked the United States government for the integrated and mutually re-enforcing programmes they were putting in place to propel agricultural development.
He was also hopeful that these investments will bring about significant results in the sector, with positive impact on many agribusiness actors.