The United States of America (USA) government has awarded COVID-19 relief and resilience grants to 12 agricultural finance intermediaries in the country.
This would be carried out through the USAID-supported Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity.
A press statement issued and signed by Dr. Victor Antwi, Chief of Party, MFA Activity, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani said 12 intermediaries received the grant amounts at a ceremony held in Tamale on August 17, 2022.
The grant is to support farmers, agribusinesses, women and youth-led agribusinesses whose activities had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and become more resilient against probable future shocks, the statement added.
It indicated the beneficiaries were among 84 applicants who participated in a competitive process that followed the launch of the COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Challenge Fund by the MFA Activity in March 2022.
“The COVID-19 Relief and Resilience grants will help the intermediaries meet demand for finance and investment for production and processing activities in the maize, soya, cowpea, groundnut, shea, mango, cashew and pineapple value chains to ensure local food security and increase the country’s foreign exchange through exports,” the statement explained.
It said farmers, agribusinesses, representatives of USAID/Ghana, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture were all present to grace the ceremony.
According to the statement, “Feed the Future is the US government’s initiative to end global hunger and led by USAID and driven by collaborative partnerships across public and private sectors, including US government agencies.
“Feed the Future addresses the root causes of poverty and hunger through boosting inclusive agriculture-led economic growth, resilience and nutrition in countries with great need and opportunity for improvement.”
On the other hand, Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity is also a USAID-supported activity that seeks to improve access to finance for farmers and agribusinesses in Ghana.
The Activity enables transaction advisors to support agribusinesses to secure loans and investment, and further assists diverse financial institutions to expand financing of farmers and agribusinesses, so that enterprises can purchase agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, invest in processing, expand production and scale operations.
“MFA is to help 81,493 enterprises access $261 million in finance, leading to $500 million in new sales between 2020 and 2024 and it is further Ghana’s agricultural financing system to mitigate the negative impacts of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic on farmers and agribusinesses,” the statement stated.
It added that as of August 2022, MFA has facilitated $146 million to approximately 10,000 agribusinesses including 62% female-led enterprises in the MFA target value chains – maize, soy, groundnut, cowpea, cashew, mango and Shea, as well as other high value export crops.