Kumasi, GHANA—On Monday, U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson, Otumfuo Adontehene, Minister of Business Development Hon. Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, and Ashanti Regional Minister Honorable Simon Osei-Mensah launched a commercial groundnut processing facility at the Kumasi factory of Project Peanut Butter, an NGO devoted to combatting undernutrition by producing effective ready-to-use therapeutic foods. The groundnut processing facility was provided through a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The Hershey Company, and Rotary International.
The groundnut processing facility will increase demand for locally grown aflatoxin-free groundnuts. Aflatoxin is a toxic carcinogen that sometimes strikes when agronomic conditions are not ideal. This has the potential to boost Ghana’s groundnut value chain, thereby increasing incomes for Ghanaian groundnut farmers. It is expected that the facility will be used to manufacture ready-to-use-therapeutic food to combat child malnutrition in Ghana and beyond.
Project Peanut Butter will use the facility to roast local Ghanaian groundnuts for “Vivi,” a groundnut-based nutritional supplement the company developed that is now a key part of the Ghanaian government’s Ghana School Feeding Program. The Hershey Company is currently providing 52,000 students with “ViVi” per day.
At the launch ceremony, Ambassador Jackson said this partnership would lead to increased incomes for Ghanaian groundnut farmers while improving health and nutrition. “Today’s launch is about the power of partnerships,” he said. “This facility will enhance our efforts to improve food security, incomes, and nutrition, in collaboration with the Ghanaian government, private sector, and communities.”
The groundnut processing facility was made possible through USAID’s Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project, which is part of the United States’ Feed the Future Initiative. In Ghana, USAID works through Feed the Future to boost the incomes of smallholder farmers, improve agricultural productivity, link farmers to markets, and improve nutrition.