Wpid Usaid
Usaid To Invest About $6m In Agriculture In Ghana

USAID

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday launched a project in Accra to offer financial assistance to Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and peasant farmers across the country.

Known as USAID-Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (FinGAP), it also aims to increase productivity in the agricultural sector of the country.

Rick Dvorin, Chief of Party for USAID-FinGAP, in a speech, stated that ?the project is part of USAID?s Feed the Future Programme, which aims to establish commercially-driven agricultural development services critical to ensuring sustainable food security in Ghana.

Mr. Dvorin said the project would last for about five years and focus on ?attracting finance mechanisms for rice, maize and soy value chains in Northern Ghana,? adding ?we would invest about $6 million in this project.

He noted that FinGAP would identify and develop agribusiness opportunities and facilitate investments and loans from financial institutions through the use of business advisory service providers.

?FinGAP has also partnered with commercial banks, leasing companies, private equity and impact investors willing to provide necessary financing,? the USAID-FinGAP chief noted.

Jim Bever, USAID Ghana Mission Director, commenting on the importance of the project, stated that ?FinGAP represents a commitment by the American people not just increasing food security but also to reducing poverty and encouraging inclusive agriculture-led economic growth and development in Ghana.

He stated that ?we expect returns on our investment.

Clement K. Humado, Minister of Food & Agriculture, delivering the keynote address, stated that the ?FinGAP is coming at a time that agribusiness development is high on government?s agenda.

Mr. Humado said FinGAP?s partnership model of linking agribusiness opportunities with financial institutions through business advisory services would go a long way to instill confidence in both the banking sector and agriculture businesses and improve lending and repayment of loans.

He commended officials of USAID Ghana for the initiative and urged all stakeholders in the financial sector, service providers, policymakers and funding agencies, to work together to achieve their goals and avoid the duplication of projects.

By Melvin Tarlue

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