The U.S. Government has awarded COVID-19 Relief and Resilience grants to 12 agricultural finance intermediaries in the country.

The 12 intermediaries received grant amounts totalling US$2.63million to support farmers and agribusinesses, including women and youth-led agribusinesses whose activities have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and become more resilient against probable future shocks.

The presentation of the grants took place in Tamale, Northern Region, on August 17, 2022. Awarding the grants will be carried out through the USAID-supported Feed the Future Ghana Mobilising Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity.

The beneficiaries were selected from among 84 applicants who participated in a competitive process following the COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Challenge Fund launch by the MFA Activity in March 2022.

The COVID-19 Relief and Resilience grants will help the intermediaries meet the demand for finance and investment for production and processing activities in the maize, soy, cowpea, groundnut, shea, mango, cashew, and pineapple value chains to ensure local food security and increase the country’s foreign exchange through exports.

Farmers, agribusinesses, representatives of USAID/Ghana, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture were present to witness the presentation ceremony.

Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s initiative to end global hunger. Led by USAID and driven by collaborative partnerships across public and private sectors, including eleven (11) U.S. government agencies, Feed the Future addresses the root causes of poverty and hunger.

This is done by boosting inclusive agriculture-led economic growth, resilience and nutrition in countries with great need and opportunities for improvement.

On the other hand, Feed the Future Ghana Mobilising Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity is a USAID-supported activity that seeks to improve access to finance for farmers and agribusinesses in Ghana. The Activity enables transaction advisors to support agribusinesses in securing loans and investments.

MFA also assists diverse financial institutions to expand financing for farmers and agribusinesses, so that enterprises can purchase agricultural inputs (such as seeds and fertiliser), invest in processing, and expand production and up-scale operations.

From 2020 to 2024, MFA is expected to help 81,493 enterprises access US$261million in finance – leading to US$500million in new sales. MFA is also supporting Ghana’s agricultural financing system to mitigate the ongoing negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers and agribusinesses.

As of August 2022, MFA has facilitated US$146million to approximately 10,000 agribusinesses – including 62% female-led enterprises in the MFA target value chains (maize, soy, groundnut, cowpea, cashew, mango and shea as well as other high-value export crops).

Source: Business and Financial Times