The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is both, a specialized agency of the United Nations, and an International Financial Institution. Through its programme financing, IFAD promotes private sector development and pro-poor economic growth in rural areas, with the objective to empower poor rural women and men to achieve higher incomes and improved food security.
IFAD also supports the development and implementation of pro-poor policies in partnership with Ghana’s Ministries of Finance and Food and Agriculture, Finance and Economic Planning, Trade and Industry, Local Government and Rural Development and other development partners. Early in 2011, IFAD has established a country office in Ghana to support the implementation of the country programme which focuses on agricultural value chain development, rural finance, promotion of microenterprises, and decentralisation and local development.
Based on the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II), the Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS II) and the Medium-Term Agriculture Sector Development Plan 2011-2015 (METASIP), IFAD’s support focuses on market-driven agriculture and the development of a dynamic private sector. To achieve this goal, IFAD invests in infrastructure and improves farmers’ access to land, water, financial services and markets. In its quest to empower poor rural people, particularly women, IFAD-financed projects emphasize their direct participation in development activities. IFAD supports the development of agricultural value chains with direct benefits for smallholders, microenterprises with special attention to agro-processing and artisanal activities. It also invests increasing outreach and sustainability of financial services that serve the needs of rural populations, helps strengthen local institutions and supports the participation of rural communities in local planning. IFAD plays a catalytic role by developing strategic partnerships and by financing loans and grants that support research, knowledge-sharing and policy dialogue. These processes are important to backstop IFAD’s Country Programme and to allow successful innovations and good practices to systematically scaled up to maximize the impact of IFAD’s financing in Ghana for the rural populations.
IFAD’s programme in Ghana targets the active poor in rural areas with specific attention to women and young people. Key targeting mechanisms include:
• Geographic targeting: Focus on poorer regions or districts
• Selection of value-chains: Based on relevance and opportunities for IFAD’s target group in production, processing and marketing
• Direct/indirect targeting: small and micro enterprises development that benefits the economically active women and young people with opportunities and benefits for many through employment creation
• Gender targeting: community-based organizations are strengthened to enhance participation of marginalised groups
IFAD-financed Programmes and Projects in Ghana
Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP)
The Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) aims at enhancing the livelihoods and food security for rural smallholders in northern Ghana. Specifically the NRGP is to develop remunerative commodities and food chains to generate incomes and agricultural surplus production, which can then be directed towards markets in southern Ghana and abroad. This programme focuses on industrial crops such as sorghum, oilseed, Shea nuts, fruits, vegetables and animal products. It targets mainly women and the vulnerable groups.
Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP)
The Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme- RTIMP was specifically designed to build up competitive, market-based and inclusive commodity chains for roots and tubers, supported by appropriate, effective and sustainable services accessible to poor rural people. It aims to support the emergence of both an inclusive private sector deeply rooted in the realities of Ghana and a stronger public sector, capable of improving the policy and regulatory environment and delivering the required public goods. RTIMP builds on lessons learned from the Root and Tuber Improvement Programme, which focused primarily on cassava research and development. RTIMP extends its focus to other root and tubers and includes a strong marketing component to improve farmers’ incomes. IFAD is currently mobilising a grant of US$2.5 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support pilot activities for Climate Change adaptation in the cassava value chain.
Rural and Agriculture Finance Programme (RAFiP)
The aim of RAFiP is to support improved and sustainable livelihoods for poor rural people particularly women, young people and the vulnerable groups. RAFiP enhances outreach, sustainability and linkages of rural finance institutions. The main objective of this programme is to extend financial services to smallholder farmers and poor rural people nationwide. Through this programme small-scale farmers are provided with technical assistance. At the macro level RAFiP works to contribute a more enabling framework through implementation of the Ghana Micro Finance Policy and the Agricultural Finance Strategy and Action Plan.
Rural Enterprise Project – Phase II (REP II)
The project’s overall goal is to build competitive small and microenterprises in rural areas in eight of Ghana’s ten regions. Building on the successful first phase of the Rural Enterprises Project, REP II has adopted a decentralised approach with the active involvement of district assemblies and local entrepreneurs. The government works with its development partners including IFAD, to provide poor rural people with good-quality, easily accessible and sustainable services as well as training in:
• Business development
• Rural Finance
• Technology transfer and promotion
• Partnership-building and policy dialogue
• Project management.
IFAD has approved a loan of US$31.5 million to the government of Ghana to co-finance the implementation of phase III of the Rural Enterprise Project. The scope of the third phase to be known as the Rural Enterprises Programme, REP will be scaled up and mainstream the district based micro and small scale enterprise (MSE) support system nationwide within public and private institutional systems. It is also expected to develop strong linkages with the vocational skills training system in Ghana.
Northern Region Poverty Reduction Programme (NORPREP)
NORPREP was designed to strengthen decentralized government institutions while promoting a participatory approach to local development. The main focus areas were building community awareness, empowerment and capacity building, and demand-driven development of village-level community infrastructure. The communities that participated in the programme received support based on their own analyses of the constraints they face. NORPREP ends this year after having been implemented for 7 years.
IFAD Ghana website linkages
For more information on IFAD, Ghana activities please visit the following websites: