Funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), GADD worked to improve agricultural productivity by increasing fertilizer use by 30 percent among 850,000 smallholder farmers across Ghana and to increase sales and use of improved seeds by 50 percent. The project addressed the challenges confronting access to improved agricultural technologies and practices, especially modern inputs such as improved seeds, mineral fertilizers and crop protection products in the food crop sector.
IFDC implemented GADD (2008-2012) in collaboration with the Ghana Agricultural Associations Business and Information Center (GAABIC) and worked to ensure that GAABIC and its consortium associations were organizationally, managerially and financially sustainable.
The project’s main activities included:
- Building agro-dealer capacity.
- Strengthening trade associations.
- Providing financial support and technology transfer.
IFDC Progress (January-June 2011)
- Collaborating with the Ghana Agri-Input Dealers Association (GAIDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the project trained over 800 agro-input dealers in all 10 regions of Ghana. This brought the total of agro-input dealers trained to 2,287 since the inception of the project (four percent over the project target of 2,200).
- Monitoring visits were made to ascertain how beneficiaries were using loans contracted under the Guarantee Fund. The project staff met with defaulters and encouraged them to honor their loan repayment obligations promptly. As of June 2011, overall repayment rate stood at 80.4 percent.
- A training program was organized for 134 prospective loan applicants on savings and credit management. In order to expand access to credit facilities, the project in collaboration with Stanbic Bank also organized a one-day workshop for 28 agro-input dealers who performed well under the Unique Trust Bank Credit Guarantee Fund. The aim was to explain the methods of accessing the AGRA/Stanbic Risk Guarantee Fund.
- The project established 30 crop demonstration plots and conducted 32 farmer field days in the Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Central and Volta regions to showcase the correct use of agro-inputs to over 700 smallholder farmers.
- Three technology transfer centers were established in Volta, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions to sustain the transfer of new improved agricultural technologies to farmers.
- Thirty-one input fairs were organized in Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta regions attended by 3,010 farmers ( 1,856 male, 1,154 female) and 63 agro-input dealers (31 male, 32 female).
- The project continued to strengthen the capacity of its staff by organizing a four-day training on marketing information systems (MIS) with Esoko-Ghana. The training equipped staff with tools and skills to provide market information to members of the agro-input value chain. The MIS has become a useful tool for sending reminders to agro-dealers to pay their monthly installment under the Credit Guarantee Fund. The monitoring and evaluation unit also benefited by sending reminders to agro-input dealers to submit their data on volume and value of agro-input sales.
- In collaboration with MIR+, the project developed an MIS called MIPAD (Market Information Platform for Agro-Dealers) as well as mobile phone applications to ease the collection of data on agro-inputs and the update of sales points of the agro-dealer database. MIPAD is being pilot-tested in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria. Restricted access web application can be found on mp.mfarms.org. The mobile application is being used in Ghana to update the database of the agro-dealer sales points.
- Thirteen media events were organized for GAIDA and the Seed Producers Association of Ghana (SEEDPAG) on national television in the main Ghanaian languages to campaign against the use of counterfeit agro-chemicals and to advocate that farmers use certified improved seeds.
- Establishment of GAIDA and training that provided members with technical, business, marketing and extension skills.
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Unique Trust Bank to make a $680,000 credit facility available to GAIDA members. Access to credit is helping agro-dealers expand their businesses.
- Establishment of geographic information systems (GIS) to map the locations of over 3,000 agro-dealers across Ghana. GADD worked to increase the number of agro-dealers in rural areas so that farmers can travel shorter distances to purchase agro-inputs.
- Development of a standard model for agro-dealer training established through an MoU signed with the PPRSD of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the EPA’s Management Center in Ghana.
- Nearly 600 agro-dealers were awarded certificates recognized by government agencies in Ghana.
An IFDC Core Competency: Agro-Dealer Development (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.3)
GADD Project Provides Technical Support to Agro-Dealer Association (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.3)
IFDC and GADD