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African Development Fund approves multi-million dollar grant for Savannah region’s agriculture development project

The board of directors of the African Development Fund has approved a US$27.9mn grant to Ghana for the development of agricultural value chains in the Savannah region

The grant will support farmers with farm inputs to increase the production of climate-resilient maize, rice and soybean, support the poultry value chain, and generate employment for women and youth. It will also significantly increase the incomes of farmers and support household nutrition.

Moreover, the grant aligns with the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) medium-term development framework for 2022-2025, which seeks to provide conditions for the private sector to boost growth and create abundant employment opportunities, especially for the youth by transforming agriculture and industry. It is also aligned to the Bank’s priority area focusing on the development of agro-ecological zones, especially the Savannah regions of Africa and creating opportunities for the continent’s youth.

The Savannah Agriculture Value Chain Development Project will be implemented by Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 2023 to 2027 and will benefit at least 150,000 people indirectly and 50,000 directly. In addition to this, it will also add to the production of at least 8,000 hectares of new rice, maize and soybean, in turn improving feed availability for the poultry industry.
The grant will work closely with the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute to support smallholder farmers with equipment to improve planting and crop husbandry, while also supporting the production of certified seeds by commercial farmers. This support will include the enforcement of community by-laws and promote the use of hybrid seeds, good agriculture practices and sound water, climate resilience and adaptation and integrated pest management.

AfDB’s acting vice president of its regional development, integration and business delivery complex Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade mentioned that local capacity building would greatly help reduce imports and help Ghana to mitigate the negative impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global food systems. Moreover, it would also help alleviate the impacts of climate change, in line with the Bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility.

“This project has come at a time that Ghana seeks to enhance domestic production and reduce imports. These are the key objectives of Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy,” said Martin Fregene, AfDB’s sector director of Agriculture and Industry. Following approval of the project, Eyerusalem Fasika, Ghana Country Manager of AfDB stated that the approval of this project was a significant addition to the Bank’s active agriculture portfolio in the country with immense potential to contribute to sustainable food systems in Ghana.