Promotion of market-oriented agriculture
Title: Market-oriented agriculture programme (MOAP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) of the Republic of Ghana
Overall term: 2004 to 2019
Almost half of the country’s workforce is employed in the agricultural sector, which generates around a third of total export revenues. More than 90 per cent of farms in the Volta, Central, Eastern and Brong Ahafo regions covered by the programme are smaller than two hectares. Ghana’s small farms account for almost 80 per cent of total agricultural production, but have virtually no access to agricultural inputs and financing. Their productivity and above all their product quality are low. The horticulture segment is up and coming in Ghana, but at present is not very competitive at international level. Existing production potential is not being fully harnessed, and post-harvest technologies are managed inadequately. Agricultural careers are generally not held in very high regard by young people, who consider agriculture to be a hard way to earn a living rather than an attractive business model with lucrative prospects.
The quality of production in the agricultural sector has improved.
The programme team provides policy advice to decision-makers and trains agricultural advisors to develop the value chains for mangoes, citrus fruits, pineapples and vegetables. These activities focus on increasing productivity, primarily by establishing good agricultural practice such as tree pruning, integrated plant protection and preserving soil fertility. In addition, certification of the farms in accordance with standards such as GLOBALG.A.P. or the EU certified organic food label plays a central role for access to international markets.
With the support of the consulting firm AFC, the programme offers training for entrepreneurs in the value chains on how to realise inclusive business models such as contract farming. The partners set up service systems and increase the capacity of interest groups and farmers’ associations. One particular challenge facing Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture is to establish intensive cooperation with the private sector and to increase its involvement in developing the value chains. Private investments in the agricultural sector are essential in order to improve the infrastructure, such as markets, warehouses, transportation and processing, and to broaden the range of services offered for farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging such investments by improving the political and legal framework conditions in the agricultural sector and is receiving relevant advice from the programme.
The EU will fund some of the programme activities in future. This will allow all the activities to be extended to the north of the country – and further value chains to be supported.
In the value chains promoted by the programme to date, farmers are benefiting from improved access to working capital loans, cultivation advice and post-harvest protection techniques. Since 2004, 30,000 jobs have been secured in the agricultural sector and processing businesses. A total of 5,000 farmers have received training in good agricultural practice, and more than 2,000 of them have been certified according to internationally accepted sustainability standards. The members of two pineapple cooperatives in the Central Region have benefited from certification by obtaining up to 50 per cent higher producer prices. Mango processors and exporters report that fruit fly infestation of their fruit has been reduced by half.
The advisory services at political level have led to Ghana aligning its strategies and their implementation more closely towards a value chain approach, and policy-making now takes all the stakeholders along the value chain into account.
A practical example: A local juice production firm was able to meet international standards and obtain certification after receiving advice from trained service providers. It also went on to train and certify 1,000 farmers on supply contracts in good agricultural practices. Today, the company exports 3,000 tonnes of certified orange juice a year, with a value of USD 1.5 million, and produces 1,000 tonnes of juice for the local market, worth around USD 300,000. The expansion of production has created between 150 and 200 seasonal jobs, mostly for women.