The government of the United States of America (USA) has voted for $2.5 million in funding to support farmers in Ghana to increase food production and mitigate food insecurity.
The support, which would be made available through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will be directed into developing and marketing inorganic and organic fertilisers, and support fertiliser importers and blenders, manufacturers, including private sector partners, to bring more fertiliser into the country for particularly the most vulnerable farmers.
Additionally, it is to assist vulnerable households and individuals to protect their health and economic livelihoods and strengthen food systems to mitigate the risks of food insecurity.
The US Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who disclosed this last Saturday during a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister, Shaani Alhassan Shaibu, in Tamale, said the confluence of crises, especially the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, had pushed many African countries into hunger, while others were suffering severe food shortages and hikes in prices.
Ms. Thomas-Greenfield was on a working visit to the region.
She said the US government was concerned about challenges facing farmers in the country, and would be working with them and supporting them to boost food production.
Ms. Thomas-Greenfield is in the country to deliver a speech on the global food security crisis and to also interact with farmers and civil society representatives contributing to food security and inclusive economic growth.
She indicated that the new support for Ghana formed part of the US Congress’ bipartisan emergency supplemental law signed by President Joe Biden in May this year.
She stressed the need to strengthen community resilience, build social cohesion, and fight counter-terrorism and violent extremism within sub-Saharan Africa.
She further commended Ghana for being a peaceful democratic nation despite being surrounded by unstable countries within the sub-region.
Alhaji Shaibu thanked the US government for the support provided to the country over the years.
He said in spite of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the government was doing its best to provide social intervention policies to better the lives of Ghanaians.
Accompanied by the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, and other officials from the United Nations and US Embassy in Ghana, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield visited a maize demonstration farm at Nangbagu in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region to interact with particularly women farmers about the challenges confronting them regarding food insecurity.
She also interacted with grains and other foodstuff traders at the Aboabo Market in Tamale to learn about their challenges, and visited a smock weaving centre in Tamale, which is led by a Mandela Washington Fellow, to learn about its operations.