Ghana has emerged as one of Africa's economic success stories with steady economic growth during the past two decades, particularly in its agriculture and mining sectors.
However, the gains the country has made are not evenly distributed amongst its people. Many Ghanaians, particularly in the north, still live in poverty and are regularly prone to food insecurity. Traditional, small-scale farmers are particularly vulnerable. Three quarters of the Northern population still lives in rural areas.
Strategies that enhance food security while ensuring improved income opportunities for rural populations are critical to reduce chronic food shortages and dependency on food aid and safety net programs.
Using market-driven approaches, MEDA' s Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project focuses on improving food security for families in Northern Ghana by assisting women farmers to grow more soybeans and forge market links that will increase incomes. Soybeans offer multiple advantages. Market demand within Ghana is strong, the beans are a good source of protein in the family diet and the nitrogen-fixing action of this legume helps build soil fertility.
Recognizing that multiple factors contribute to food security, the project provides training and technical assistance to help women make sound nutritional choices for their families. Financial literacy training helps women and their families better manage their resources and savings opportunities will be available so that women can invest in expanding their productive activities.
The project is implemented in partnership with local organizations with a focus on building local capacity and experience in delivering market-driven programing.
Project Quick Facts
Goal: Families in northern Ghana have nutritious food throughout the year as women increase agricultural production, strengthen their links to markets, diversify the food they produce and understand more about nutrition.
Reaching: 20,000 women farmers and their families
Funding: Canadian International Development Agency (now DFATD) and MEDA
Project length: 2012-2018