Accra, Ghana –U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan joined Vice President of Ghana H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on May 6, 2021, to outdoor a new U.S. government food security strategy. The first activity is expected to attract $261 million in private sector financing to boost Ghanaian agribusiness. The Honorable Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto also attended the virtual launch along with representatives of financial, agricultural, government, and private sector stakeholders.
The U.S. Global Food Security Strategy for Ghana (GFSS) is a five-year, interagency effort that aims to increase agricultural productivity, improve nutrition, and raise household incomes for millions of Ghana’s agricultural workers. Under the GFSS, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is committing $19 million to support the initial activity, known as Feed the Future Ghana “Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture” (MFA). The MFA activity, which will run for four years, seeks to increase access to agricultural finance in select staple and commodity value chains such as maize, groundnuts, shea, soy, mango, cashew, and other high-value export commodities. The initiative will focus on facilitating transactions among buyers and sellers of the commodity crops and promoting exports.
Ambassador Sullivan described this new program within the framework of the United States and Ghana’s long-standing partnership to improve food security, increase trade and investment flows, and support resilient and inclusive economic growth. In her remarks, Ambassador Sullivan noted that, “The U.S. Government reaffirms its commitment to assist Ghanaians to achieve self-reliance by helping businesses reap higher revenues and by strengthening trade between Ghana and the United States. With the ability to access loans at lower affordable rates, micro, small, and medium agricultural enterprises, including women- and youth-owned businesses, will be able to grow their businesses, expand into new markets, create good jobs, and export their goods.”
The MFA activity will mobilize investment for Ghana’s agricultural sector to become an engine of sustainable growth, self-reliance, and shared prosperity. It will work to connect financial institutions, business advisory service providers, and agricultural enterprises, providing access to strategic partnerships, technical support, and smart incentives to help financing flow to where it is most needed and help more Ghanaians thrive.
As Delivered Remarks for Virtual Launch of the U.S. Feed the Future Ghana
“Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture” Activity
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan
Theme: “Financing Ghana’s Agriculture: A Critical Pathway towards Sustainable Growth, Self-Reliance, and Shared Prosperity”
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 9:00 am
Your Excellency Vice President of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia;
Representative of the Honorable Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto,
Chief Director Robert Ankobia;
Representatives from Government of Ghana agencies;
Private sector and development partners;
Mobilizing Finance for Agriculture activity staff;
Members of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen;
All protocols observed.
Good morning. I’m happy to join you today as we launch the U.S. interagency Global Food Security Strategy for Ghana and kick off its first activity, known as Feed the Future Ghana “Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA).” Supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the MFA is a $19 million, four-year activity that seeks to increase access to agricultural finance in select staples and commodity value chains such as maize, groundnut, shea, soy, mango, my personal favorite: cashew, and other high-value export commodities.
Over the next five years, the U.S. government, through the overarching Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS), will unlock more than $300 million in investment and support businesses to increase their sales of, and to export, more than $630 million in goods to help end chronic hunger and poverty in Ghana. In addition, the GFSS will help the Government of Ghana reduce the time and cost it takes to move goods securely across its borders, reinforcing the new Africa Continental Free Trade Area; potentially creating thousands of jobs; and forging partnerships with a wide variety of American firms. Some of these partnerships, including those with Ethical Apparel Africa, Root Capital, and John Deere, are already strengthening trade and investment ties between our two countries.
The implementation of the GFSS will benefit a broad range of people involved in agriculture, from women shea nut pickers and smallholder maize farmers, to the aggregators, processors, distributors, and buyers who help the wider market system function. Together with the Government of Ghana, we’ll work with the private sector to ensure that activities are market driven, focused on improving the market system over time, and sustainable. The strategy will also ultimately improve Ghanaians’ nutrition and help more Ghanaians thrive.
Our commitment to a close and collaborative partnership advances mutual U.S. and Ghanaian interests in the agricultural sector and builds on existing programs such as the Investing for Food and Jobs Initiative and the Tree Crops Development Authority that is working to enhance Ghana’s exports. We are also including measures to expand the impact of Ghana’s Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support program (known as Ghana CARES) in our economic growth portfolio by helping businesses access finance and technical assistance to help their operations cope with this new operating environment.
Through the Mobilizing Finance for Agriculture (affectionately known as MFA) activity, the United States and Ghana will work to transform Ghana’s agricultural sector from one characterized by low value addition and subsistence farming to one that positions Ghana to become a leader in Africa’s agricultural development. Over the course of the activity, MFA will mobilize over a quarter-billion U.S. dollars of agricultural finance for Ghanaian agribusinesses.
The MFA aims to address these bottlenecks to MSME growth in the agriculture sector over four years by helping them to access financing in three ways: (1) expand existing sources of finance; (2) find new sources of financing; and (3) partner with investors, associations, technology firms, and financial service providers to access financing. The MFA specifically targets the smallest firms (loan amounts under $10,000) and the “missing middle,” defined as firms seeking finance from $10,000 to $500,000, with special consideration given to increasing finance among women and youth-owned firms.
With today’s launch, the U.S. government reaffirms its commitment to assist Ghanaians to achieve greater self-reliance by helping businesses reap higher revenues and strengthening trade between Ghana and the United States. With the ability to access loans at lower affordable rates, micro, small, and medium agricultural enterprises, including women- and youth-owned businesses, will be able to grow their businesses, expand into new markets, create good jobs, and export their goods.”
I urge all agribusiness owners, banks, business advisory services providers, and farmers to take advantage of the support offered through the Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture activity. Feed the Future Ghana MFA can help you meet your own goals and aspirations while also contributing to Ghana’s growth and the well-being of her people.
As the Akan proverb states, “Wofro duapa a na ye pia wo”
or “if you climb a good tree, you get a push.”
The U.S. government will help agribusinesses that are committed and ready to expand and enhance their operations in the new working environment.
I’d like to thank His Excellency Vice President Bawumia and the Honorable Minister Akoto for their continued partnership as together we launch this new strategy and activity. We look forward to walking alongside Ghana as it continues along its journey towards prosperity, sustainable growth, and self-reliance.
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 partnership 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.
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.