Agricultural value chain refers to all the steps that a product takes, from its point of origin to the consumer. Improving conditions along the whole chain stimulates the youth to become entrepreneurial and develop consistent income streams. Agricultural value chain development is about linking farmers to people who can process, package, market and eventually buy the food they produce. Establishing commodity-based value chains not only empowers potential young farmers, it gives them the tools they need to take ownership of the process and build sustainable markets.
During recent focus group discussions (FGD) conducted for representatives of youth groups in Northern and Southern Ghana under the theme: Market -Oriented Agricultural Value Chains: Constraints and Opportunities, many of the participants expressed the need for the Government and donor partners to scale-up efforts in harmonizing value chain activities. Proposed approaches include: formalized linkages to agribusiness, input suppliers and financial institutions
The workshops were organised by Syecomp Ghana Ltd as part of activities under a grant activity: Improving Approaches to Mainstreaming Gender in Ghana’s Youth Policy and Youth in Agriculture Programme: Focus on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Market-Oriented Value Chains; and sponsored by the USAID|Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project, which is being implemented by Chemonics International Inc. (USA).
A representative from the Centre for Agribusiness Research and Development (CAADER) noted unfavourable value chain financing as one of the limitations to the growth of the agricultural sector thus the disinterest by the youth to enter into agriculture. The representative suggested the provision of technical assistance to financial institutions to understand and apply low risk structured trade financing concepts such as forward contract finance, invoice discounting and inventory credit to agricultural value chain financing as well.
A representative from Pongo Farms shared the view that focusing on market-oriented commodity products in high demand such as rice, soya, sorghum, cassava and export crops such as cocoa, coffee and shea will serve to attract the youth. The representative reiterated the fact that availability of a youth-friendly financing structure will be key to increasing youth participation in the agricultural sector in Ghana.
This is the 7th in a 12-series blog articles to espouse the context of the Position Paper on effectively mainstreaming Gender and Youth in Agriculture in Ghana with support from USAID/Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project (USAID/APSP)
Author: Syecomp Ghana Ltd
Email the author: Projects@syecomp.com
The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.