Promotion of market-oriented agriculture in Ghana

Programme description

Title: Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: Ghana
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA)
Overall term: 2004 to 2020

Ghana. A small-scale farmer harvesting mangoes. (Photo: Li Migura) © GIZ


Ghana is West Africa's second-largest economic nation. Political stability and favourable economic conditions have led to steady economic growth, which is however, based on a small number of products. Almost 40 per cent of the working population are still working in agriculture and around one third of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated through agricultural production. Yet the productivity and product quality of Ghanaian agricultural products are still low and are not always competitive nationally and internationally.

80 per cent of agricultural products in Ghana are currently produced by smallholder farmers. In particular, they often lack resources, financing and marketing contacts. Therefore, their yields are low, plant diseases and pests can spread unimpeded and the harvest is severely reduced. Poor storage and transport further reduce the quality of harvested fruit. In 2015, repeated pest infestations resulted in an import ban on Ghanaian varieties of vegetables in the European Union (EU). Also, food processing lacks capital and technical know-how in addition to unreliable delivery of high-quality raw materials.

The country’s potential for the production of internationally sought-after products such as mangoes, cashews, pineapples and spices is not leveraged and the increased food quality demands of the Ghanaian middle-class are also not being met, which is why they often rely on imported goods


The quality of agricultural production in Ghana has improved.



The Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) works with selected value chains and promotes all relevant actors from seed producers and tree nurseries, to farmers, agricultural trade, agricultural service providers and buyers, to processors and exporters. This results in better product quality, higher levels of income and more employment throughout the entire value chain.

Training for farming practices and quality standards as well as the further development of specialised private service providers increase the quantity and quality of the products. In particular, certification in accordance with international quality standards such as GlobalG.A.P. and organic open up new market opportunities for producers. The programme also encourages inclusive business models that support smallholder farmers in marketing their products and provide them with the chance to generate regular income.

The programme assists processing companies in Ghana, which produce dried fruit, juice, spices and cosmetics, among other things. It focuses on optimising production processes and food safety, as well as the development of new products and their marketing.

In addition, MOAP works together closely with the Ghanaian agricultural ministry and its authorities. This cooperation aims to create effective frameworks, improve state advisory services for farmers and businesses, and to enable expert inspections of businesses.

Particular focus is placed on integrating women and young adults as well as smallholder farmers into value chains. Furthermore, the programme promotes specific crops that are traditionally grown and marketed by women. It also fosters businesses that create jobs for women and young people.

The programme has been part of the European Union Ghana Agriculture Programme (EU GAP) since 2017. Within this framework of cofinancing, it has also supported a large number of private and public partners in North-West Ghana, one of the least-developed regions, during this time.


Over 40,000 farmers have received training on good farming practices to date. Thanks to adapted techniques in fields and orchards, and improved plants, pineapple yields have increased by 14 per cent since 2016. Rice, sorghum and soya yields in North-West Ghana even doubled in 2017. 

Approximately 2,000 producers have been certified in international sustainability standards such as organic and GlobalG.A.P. This has provided them with access to new markets, enabling them to export to Europe and provide processing companies with organic standards. As a result of the certification, they have been able to negotiate long-term buyer agreements and prices up to twice as high. In fact, their businesses recorded increased costs of around 40 per cent, but despite this they also increased their revenue per hectare by up to 250 per cent. 

The programme supports more than 90 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in becoming more competitive, acquiring new clients and employing additional workers. The supported businesses have already created over 1,500 new jobs since 2017. Over 50 per cent of these went to women and over 80 per cent to young adults under 35.

In-depth advice and training of Ghanaian quarantine authorities have been able to improve the inspection of fresh products for export to the extent that a two-year ban by the EU on vegetables was lifted at the start of 2018.


Additional information