USAID’s Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity, in collaboration with Ghana Resilience in Northern Ghana (RING II) Activity, Policy LINK and Market Systems and Resilience (MSR) Activity, held a Breakfast Meeting and Mini Fair for female-led agribusinesses in Tamale, Northern Region onWednesday March 8, 2023, to commemorate InternationalWomen’s Day.
The event showcased the important role and contribution of female-led/owned agribusiness in the Feed the Future target value chains of maize, soy, groundnut, cowpea, mango, cashew, shea to food security, and inclusive economic growth in Ghana. It was attended by over 150 stakeholders in the agricultural sector including representatives of USAID, government and non-governmental organizations, women’s groups, trade associations, transaction advisors and financial institutions.
The event featured a breakfast meeting addressed by representatives of USAID and implementing partners, Northern Regional Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Gender, Children and Social Protection; a panel discussion on “Enhancing Women’s Contribution to Agriculture through Access to Finance and Technology for Food Security and Improved Livelihoods”; a pitching session that connected the female-led/owned agribusinesses to MFA partner financial institutions for investment; and a mini fair on financial, digital and business advisory products/services, and agricultural produce.
The highlight of the celebration was the recognition of a women’s group and two MFA partner financial institutions for supporting women to realize their potential and contribute towards Ghana’s agriculture sector. Kusanaba Women’s Group was recognized for empowering over 1,200 women in the Upper East Region to process shea butter to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their livelihoods; Bawku East Small Scale Farmers Association Rural Bank for financing the highest number of female-led/owned agribusinesses in the Upper East Region; and Tumu Cooperative Credit Union for disbursing the highest value of financing to female-led/owned agribusinesses in the UpperWest Region.
International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8 in recognition of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, equity, and empowerment. This year’s celebrations held under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality” will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities.
“Agriculture is paramount in driving Ghana’s sustainable economic growth and journey to self-reliance.The contribution of women who constitute more than half of Ghana’s population is critical,” said Dr.Victor Antwi, Chief of Party, Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture Activity.“USAID is through the MFA Activity working with transaction advisors and partner financial institutions to ensure agribusinesses including improved livelihoods.”
As of February 2023, MFA had facilitated $192.9 million to 25,408 agribusinesses including 54% female-led enterprises in the maize,soy, groundnut, cowpea, cashew, mango, and shea value chains.The US Government, also through the MFA,released $2.77 million under the COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Challenge Fund in 2022 to support over 29,000 smallholder farmers and rural enterprises to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic and become more resilient against possible future shocks.
USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships support Ghana’s journey to self-reliance and advance an integrated approach to development. USAID promotes accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.
About Feed the Future
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s initiative to end global hunger. Led by USAID and driven by collaborative partnerships across public and private sectors, including 11 U.S. Government agencies, Feed the Future addresses the root causes of poverty and hunger. This is done by boosting inclusive agriculture-led economic growth,resilience, and nutrition in countries with great need and opportunity for improvement.
About Feed the Future Ghana MFA Activity
The Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity is a USAID activity that will improve access to finance for farmers and agribusinesses in Ghana. The Activity enables transaction advisors to support agribusinesses to secure loans and investment. MFA also 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. From 2020 to 2024, MFA is to help 81,493 enterprises access $261 million in finance, leading to $500 million in new sales. MFA is also supporting Ghana’s agricultural financing system to mitigate the negative impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on farmers and agribusinesses.