The U.S. government has reaffirmed its commitment to assist Ghanaians to achieve greater self-reliance by helping businesses to reap higher revenues and strengthening trade between Ghana and the United States.
With the ability to access loans at lower affordable rates, micro, small, and medium agricultural enterprises, including women- and youth-owned businesses, will be able to grow their businesses, expand into new markets, create good jobs, and export their goods.
The MFA aims to address these bottlenecks to MSME growth in the agriculture sector over four years by helping them to access financing in three ways: (1) expand existing sources of finance; (2) find new sources of financing; and (3) partner with investors, associations, technology firms, and financial service providers to access financing.
The MFA specifically targets the smallest firms (loan amounts under $10,000) and the “missing middle,” defined as firms seeking finance from $10,000 to $500,000, with special consideration given to increasing finance among women and youth-owned firms.
However, the Vice President of Ghana H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, was joined by the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan, on May 6, 2021, to outdoor a new U.S. government food security strategy. The first activity is expected to attract $261 million in private sector financing to boost Ghanaian agribusiness.
The Honorable Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto also attended the virtual launch along with representatives of financial, agricultural, government, and private sector stakeholders.
The U.S. Global Food Security Strategy for Ghana (GFSS) is a five-year, interagency effort that aims to increase agricultural productivity, improve nutrition, and raise household incomes for millions of Ghana’s agricultural workers. Under the GFSS, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is committing $19 million to support the initial activity, known as Feed the Future Ghana “Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture” (MFA).
The MFA activity, which will run for four years, seeks to increase access to agricultural finance in select staple and commodity value chains such as maize, groundnuts, shea, soy, mango, cashew, and other high-value export commodities. The initiative will focus on facilitating transactions among buyers and sellers of the commodity crops and promoting exports.
Ambassador Sullivan described this new program within the framework of the United States and Ghana’s long-standing partnership to improve food security, increase trade and investment flows, and support resilient and inclusive economic growth. In her remarks, Ambassador Sullivan noted that, “The U.S. Government reaffirms its commitment to assist Ghanaians to achieve self-reliance by helping businesses reap higher revenues and by strengthening trade between Ghana and the United States. With the ability to access loans at lower affordable rates, micro, small, and medium agricultural enterprises, including women- and youth-owned businesses, will be able to grow their businesses, expand into new markets, create good jobs, and export their goods.”
The MFA activity will mobilize investment for Ghana’s agricultural sector to become an engine of sustainable growth, self-reliance, and shared prosperity. It will work to connect financial institutions, business advisory service providers, and agricultural enterprises, providing access to strategic partnerships, technical support, and smart incentives to help financing flow to where it is most needed and help more Ghanaians thrive.