The United States Agency for International Development Feed the Future Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID-FinGAP) released over US$168 million in private capital in the last five years (July 2013-July 2018) to address one of the key constraints of developing commercial agriculture: lack of access to finance.
The amount, which included loans and equity investment, was disbursed to about 3,000 agribusinesses in the maize, rice and soy value chains (MRS) and benefited about 170,000 smallholder farmers in the northern part of Ghana through improved access to inputs, markets and incomes. Out of the number, 40 per cent were women.
Thus, USAID-FinGAP was an agribusiness project to facilitate finance and investment in the MRS supply value chains and improved ancillary services so that agribusinesses could operate at full capacity and expand levels of food security in the country and inclusive economic growth.
The project worked with three key ac
Available data by FinGAP shows a total of 3,137 transactions facilitated by 21 BAS providers and 40 strategic partnerships developed in target value chains.
Also, 2,850 SMiLEs and farmer organisations linked to 167,827 smallholder farmers and aggregators in the target value chains have gained access to finance.
Some success stories
The Builsa Community Bank (Bucobank) in the Upper East Region as a grantee received technical assistance, capacity-building training and pay-for-performance grants to encourage increased lending to the agricultural sector.
It has since disbursed approximately US$2.3 million to 847 agricultural enterprises in the Upper East Region and opened a fourth branch at Yagaba (a farming community that produces most of the MRS and other grains and legumes) in the newly created Mamprugu Moagduri District of the Northern Region.
Now, 10 farmer-based organisations with 120 members have already accessed financing of US$16,000 from the new Bucobank branch, facilitated by Tradeline Consult, a USAID-FinGAP BAS provider.
Also, Tamanaa Company Limited in the West Mamprusi District, involved in rice processing, has through FinGAP’s intervention increased the number of women who double as parboilers and aggregators from 70 in 2015 to 350 in 2017 and increased cultivated farmlands from 400 acres in 2015 to 1,200 in 2017, tripling rice production from 850 metric tonnes to 2,550 metric tonnes over the same period.
The Business Advisory Service Providers Association of Ghana (BASPAG), an established network through FinGAP equipped to assist agribusinesses access financing to expand their capacities, will in addition to packaging agribusiness deals for financing, take over the hosting of the USAID-FinGAP Annual Ghana Agribusiness Investment Summits to sustain gains made over the years. — GB