To boost agriculture activities in Ghana, the European Union (EU), and French Development Agency (AFD) have signed a 44.7 million euros Agricultural Water Management Project (AWMP) Financing Agreements.
The project will support the expansion of irrigated agricultural lands in the Northern Regions.
The agreement was signed as part of the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen’s visit to Ghana to deepen economic ties with Ghana.
Ghana’s Agriculture and Agricultural Water Management Project
She reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to supporting the agricultural sector in Ghana in order to improve the quality of life of communities, especially in the North of the country.
Adding that Irrigation is a crucial factor in providing a reliable, climate-resilient source of income for smallholder farmers. The Agricultural Water Management project will therefore support smallholder farmers’ households to increase and make their yields more predictable.
It is an ambitious and important investment that will boost the socio-economic development in Northern Ghana.
Speaking at the signing of the AWMP project, the minister for finance Ken Ofori Attah says the project dovetails perfectly into the government’s Planting-For-Food and Jobs Programme as it would help address food insecurity issues and improve the income of farmers and promote poverty eradication.
He added the project is also consistent with the Government of Ghana’s priorities, as it addresses the key issues faced by smallholder farmers and farming systems in the northern regions of Ghana.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie, assured the delegation of prudent application for the funds to yield the desired results. The EU delegation also paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Energy.
About AFD and activities in Ghana
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) — French Development Agency — is a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government. It works to fight poverty and promote sustainable development.
The Group fund supports and accelerates the transition to a fairer and more sustainable world. Focusing on climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health, and governance.
Their teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas departments and territories and another 115 countries. In this way, we contribute to the commitment of France and the French people to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Between 2008 and 2017, AFD invested more than 700 million euros in Ghana. These are funds dedicated for the promotion of high developmental impact projects: improvement of living conditions, reduction of inequalities, avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions.
Agriculture, the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, which employs about 50% of the labour force, saw its share of the country’s GDP drop steadily to 19% by the end of 2016. To address this downturn, the Ghanaian government has rolled out flagship programmes such as Planting for Food and Job, One village-One dam and Planting for Export and Rural Development.
For the last 15 years, AFD on its part has been supporting rural communities in the north of the country to strengthen the rice sector. More than 5,000 ha of lowland rice have thus been cultivated, thereby contributing to reducing the country’s dependence on rice imports.
lt has also helped to increase the technical skills of more than 7,500 producers leading to high output. ln addition, towards the south of the country, AFD has supported 8,800 Outgrowers in the last 20 years to develop 30,000 ha of rubber plantations which contributed to increasing their income and empowering them to provide basic amenities for their families.
AFD is currently working, together with the European Union, on the Agricultural Water Management Project in Upper West, which aims at increasing the income of 11,000 farmers and irrigating 2,800 ha of farmland, thus empowering these farmers and helping them to attain a higher standard of living.
Despite its remarkable growth, Ghana’s economy needs to face three challenges: the decline in world prices for most of the raw materials exported by the country (gold, cocoa), the sharp fall in oil prices, which has halved its oil revenues, and an electricity grid which is still underdeveloped and unstable. Ghana must now diversify its economy and increase its energy supply.
AFD started its activities in Ghana in 1985, marking the opening of its first representation in an English-speaking country. Over the last 30 years, the AFD Group has focused its activities on the financing of strategic infrastructures (energy, transport) and socio-economic projects (private sector financing, sustainable cities, agriculture).
While maintaining the same sectors of intervention, AFD wishes to renew its activities in Ghana putting emphasis on the promotion of gender equality and the mitigation of the effects of climate change, in tandem with the SDG agenda.
AFD in Ghana: over EUR 1.4bn committed over the past 30 years.