USAID has awarded ACDI/VOCA a cost extension to continue our work in Ghana under the Feed the Future Ghana Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement II Project (ADVANCE II). This award will extend the project until April 30, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that followed are bound to have a damaging effect on Ghana’s agricultural production season, which began in June. Lockdowns and other precautions to prevent the virus’s spread have disrupted seed, fertilizer, and agrochemical supply chains. These disruptions have created uncertainty in the produce market because of delays in supply and demand. During the extension phase, ADVANCE II will address these challenges and others in the year ahead.

The Outgrower Business Model

ADVANCE II plans to work with 130 outgrower businesses, 170 village savings and loan associations, and 360 safe spray providers to generate $18.8 million in produce sales during the 2020 production season in Northern Ghana. More sales means better incomes and livelihoods for smallholder farmers. To do so, the project will engage its outgrower business model and networks.

This model supports and builds the capacity of outgrower businesses — mainly commercial farmers and aggregators — and links them to input suppliers, extension agents, financial institutions, and formal economic markets of large buyers and processors. These outgrower businesses, who have been forming their own zonal and regional networks since 2018, support smallholder farmers by providing them with training, access to markets, and inputs and farming services on credit.

Through these networks, ADVANCE II will support 27,000 smallholder farmers by restoring, expanding, and strengthening supply chains and market connections disrupted by COVID-19; they will also create resilience against future shocks. Better market connections will further enable processors and major buyers to receive a steady supply of high-quality produce.

Coping with COVID-19

Because of the sensitivity of the COVID-19 situation, ADVANCE II will also provide training in health and safety protocols during this extension phase. In collaboration with Ghana Health Services, ADVANCE II will educate outgrower business networks on how to prevent the spread of the virus. ADVANCE II will also launch a communications campaign to inform both project participants and the local communities about farming-related COVID-19 safety guidelines.

To reduce the person-to-person contact normally required to establish business deals, ADVANCE II will strengthen the capacity of outgrower business networks to use digital communications effectively for all their business transactions.

Learn more about the ADVANCE II Project.

Learn more about our work in Ghana.