USAID supports agric in northern sector: Offers $6 million grant
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a $6 million grant programme to increase inclusive agriculture in northern Ghana.
Under the Feed the Future Ghana Market Systems and Resilience (MSR) Activity programme, the five-year initiative will collaborate with successful grantees to improve their farm productivity, access to markets and market efficiency.
Prospective eligible applicants include farm-based organisations, agriculture related organisations or cooperatives, micro, small and medium enterprises, private organisations, international and local non-governmental organisations, business service providers and anchor firms such as buyers, exporters and processors.
Each eligible applicant could receive the cedi equivalent of between $5,000 and $250,000 in grant.
The MSR Activity is a $35.9 million programme funded by the USAID and being implemented by ACDI/VOCA, an international development non-profit organisation.
Government entities could not receive direct financial compensation under the programme but could apply for an in-kind grant.
The grant was announced during a public roadshow in Accra yesterday to educate prospective applicants on the purpose, eligibility requirements, application processes and the nature of the grant.
It was also to ensure that potential grantees and other stakeholders understood what the Market Systems and Resilience grant was and the geographical zone it covered.
The roadshow was part of a series of others that would be organised in Tamale, Bolgatanga, Wa and Nalerigu up to December 20 this year.
Delivering a presentation on the objectives of the Market Systems and Resilience programme, Team Leader in Charge of Agribusiness and Financial Services of the Ghana MSR Activity, Raymond Denteh, said $6 million dollars was being offered as grant for prospective applicants whose work focused on targeted crops such as maize, shea, bambara beans, soybean, cowpea, groundnuts, moringa, mango and horticulture.
He said the objectives of the MSR Activity included increasing commercialisation, increase institutional capacity of market actors, improve market access and quality of business services.
He indicated that women, young people and persons living with disabilities had a higher chance to receive the grant.
“The programme is targeted at USAID’s 17-district zone of influence comprising Yendi, Tempani, Mion, Nadwoli, Karaga, Kaleo, Gushegu, Wa East, Nanton, Daffiama, Sagnarigu, Bussie-Issa and East Mamprusi.
“The others are Sissala East, Mamprugu Moagduri, Sissala West, Bawku Municipal, Bawku West, Garu across the Northern, North East, Upper West and Upper East regions,” he added.
Mr Denteh said the grant would facilitate the introduction of innovative ideas and improved practices.
The Grant Manager, Wilberforce Freeman, also said applicants whose contributions supported any of the MSR Activity objectives with gender and social inclusion considerations and promoted climate smart innovations or strategies were more likely to be approved.
He said prospective applicants must be registered entities, have adequate references on past performances, have sound business management policies and procedures with internal controls that safeguarded assets.
Mr Freeman indicated that grantees may range from emerging businesses and groups who were working with donors for the first time, to well-established entities with a long history of implementing USAID funded activities.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Chief of Party of MSR Activity, Mike Dockrey, said the programme was designed to help the grantees to be more resilient through supporting and empowering households, communities and businesses to predict, prepare for, withstand and recover from shocks in the agricultural market systems.