The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) will soon announce a five-year strategic business plan that will, through direct AGRA intervention, double the income of 9 million small holder farmers in six African countries, including Ghana.
The plan will also double the incomes of another 21 million more farm households through grantees, partners to policies and partnerships that increase productivity and access to market.
At a stakeholder meeting held, Thursday, to brainstorm and ensure a perfect execution of the plan, Fadel Ndiame, head of the West Africa said AGRA will make use of an integrated approach to agriculture transformation in West Africa to achieve its objectives.
This approach includes an adoption of improved technology by the farmers, access to inputs and markets and a great partnership with governments, donors and investors in the six countries where the project will be undertaken.
The other countries to benefit from this project are Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Burkina Faso.
According to Ndiame, the new strategy will focus on three main agro-ecological zones that overlap with the targeted countries. The zones are Guinea Savanah zone, where Ghana’s agriculture will prominently feature, East African Highland zones and Miombo woodlands zone.
Why small holder farmers?
Fadel Ndiame said the business plan will focus chiefly on staples and food crops grown largely by small holder farmers.
He said the small holder farms employ the large chunk of the population in many of the countries in question and produce the heavily consumed food crops.
The team leader in the Ghana Business plan, Kehinde Makinde, in his presentation named maize, rice, soyabean and cassava as the four main crops the plan will concentrate on when the project finally begins.
The project will also pay close attention to four main themes that run through every agricultural enterprise- climate change, women, youth and nutrition.
According to Makinde, the project will support “climate smart technologies and improved water management,” provide support to women, farmers especially in their areas of interest and specialization and pay attention to the agricultural opportunities for the youth.
The proposed budget for the project is $31 million over a period of five years with a business model including. seed supply, farmers awareness,fertilizers.
The project will also make use of strong partnerships with governments, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, seed suppliers etc.