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The project has four components:
(i) Crop Productivity Improvement;
(ii) Value Chains Agribusiness Development;
(ii) Infrastructure Development; and
(iii) Project Coordination, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Component 1 - Crop Productivity Improvement: This component will seek to increase the crop productivity through the use of improved and more nutritious seed varieties. The project will assist rice, maize, soybean and vegetable farmers to adopt productivity- improving technologies such as soil fertility interventions, mechanization, and extension services. Nutrition promotion activities will be implemented in order to promote dietary diversity, and in particular to increase consumption of vegetables in the project area. Infrastructure of the decrepit national seed production centers will be renovated, equipped with modern machinery and supported to ensure national self-sufficiency in breeder, foundation and certified seeds production for strategic commodities. Essential expected outcomes under this component will be disseminating technologies selected under the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) for the target commodities. These technologies will be complemented by other proven technologies within the TASI framework. Demonstration of high gross margin crop production technology and conservation agriculture will also be carried out at four selected locations. Private and public sector extension agents, commercial farmers, and young farmers will also be trained in the new maize and soybean production technologies.
Component 2: Value Chain and Agribusiness Development: The objective of this component is to set up sustainable agribusinesses along the commodity value chains by entrepreneurship training to value chain actors. It will further strengthen the local governance structures such as the District Value Chain Committees (DVCCs), which is an innovative concept that links farmers to value chain's actors to more ably participate in the ownership and management of facilities that will be set up. It will orchestrate linkages to other flagship programmes of the Bank particularly the on-going ENABLE Youth Program in the Rural Enterprises Program and the up-coming Risk Sharing Facility (RSF) through Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) and facilitation of the establishment of an Innovation Platform. This component will ultimately contribute to the achievement of the Government flagship program of 1D1F as it will promote private sector investments in the Project operational area. The soft infrastructure will leverage on on-going e-agriculture activities in the sector to consolidate the various registration of farmers into an agriculture sector database for input supply system.
Component 3: The infrastructure development component will provide for both hard and soft infrastructure. The hard infrastructure will include:
(i) Development of Transport Infrastructure (feeder roads, farm-tracks and stock routes);
(ii) Rehabilitation of irrigation schemes;
(iv) Rehabilitation of warehouses. Improvement of water harvesting and distribution for lowland rice production.
Component 4: The Project Management and Co-ordination will be responsible for the day to day management of the project. It will also be responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation (ME), gender equality and women's empowerment and implementation of the Project Environmental and Social Management Plan.
Project development goal: The development objective of the project is to transform agricultural value chains for food and nutrition security, job and wealth creation.
Specific project objectives: To increase farmers' food and nutrition security and incomes through increased agricultural productivity and diversification; and enhance the creation and strengthening of agribusinesses to increase incomes of actors along selected value chains on a sustainable basis.
The project has a great potential in contributing to the twin objectives of the Bank's 10-Year Strategy (TYS). It contributes to inclusive growth across geographical locations, age and gender in that the major interventions of the project are concentrated in the NSEZ where poverty is highest in the country and youth and women agri-preneurs are targeted by the project.
The project will enhance agriculture transformation through increased productivity of rice, maize, soybean and vegetables; and investment in both hard infrastructure (seed processing and storage, irrigation, produce warehouses and feeder roads); as well as soft infrastructure (farmer e-registration and e- agriculture). The project will also leverage on the complementary innovative agricultural financing mechanisms (the Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) that is being established with the assistance of the Bank in conjunction with the Bank of Ghana. It will also operationalise the activities of the TAAT framework and link up with TASI as a vehicle for attracting private sector investment in agriculture in the savannah zone of Ghana. Furthermore, the project will provide entrepreneurship and business management training to value chain actors in order for them to be eligible to assess resources in the ongoing ENABLE Youth Program in the Bank funded Rural Enterprises Project (REP).
The benefits of the project include improved food and nutrition security, job creation and wealth creation for commodity value chain actors. Through improved agricultural production, productivity and market linkages, about 20,000 jobs will be created, of which women and youths account for about 60%, along the value chains. It is envisaged that there will be income increase by 25% along the value chains and employment of women and youth in the agriculture sector. The crowding in of private sector investment in terms of investment volume as a result of the demonstration of improved technologies and production systems will be a key indicator of success.
BOAHEN Philip - AHAI2