Fruit and vegetables in Ghana: better quality boosts income
Sustainable cultivation and access to new markets: farmers in Ghana benefit from training.
Pineapples, chillies, mangoes, papayas, citrus fruits… Many items available on German supermarket shelves come from Ghana in fresh or dried form. Nearly half of all people employed in Ghana work in agriculture. The sector generates a quarter of gross national product and thus secures the staple food supply as well as the country's export earnings.
However, there are challenges regarding the cultivation and sale of agricultural products in the west African country. Small businesses lack the inputs, finance and marketing opportunities. This has an adverse effect on the competitiveness of the businesses, which produce nearly eighty per cent of all agricultural products.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to assist the Ghanaian Government in improving agricultural value chains on the long term. The programme receives funding from the European Union.
Knowledge on sustainable cultivation methods and marketing options are in particular demand. Since 2017, more than 25,000 small farmers, both male and female, have participated in training to increase their yields and harvest better products.
Thanks to the improved quality, products from Ghana are now easier to export. The new markets and contact with exporters as well as certification to organic standards have made the country's agricultural products more competitive both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, since 2017, 5,500 farmers have signed purchase agreements with agricultural businesses. This guarantees secure sales projections and facilitates access to operating materials. Thanks to certifications, purchase agreements and improved cultivation methods, farmers have been able to increase the prices for their products by up to 50 per cent.
“Earning money from vegetable production helps us to pay school fees and health insurance, bills and to feed our children” says Grace Bayelebara, a vegetable farmer from Jirapa in Ghana’s Upper West Region, who participated in a training. Sustainable cultivation thus provides farmers with good prospects for achieving secure long-term income.